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Messages - woodsgnome

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Introductory Post / Re: Dear Guest
« on: March 13, 2021, 01:28:17 PM »
If it's okay, jazzy, I'd like to second your recognition of all who visit here, whether they can share or not. Just coming here indicates it may be too hard to accept that there can be a place like this forum where the harshness of life with cptsd can perhaps be softened just by finding others who've been hurt.

I was reminded of a poem by Rumi which speaks of guests that reads:

 This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jalaluddin Rumi


Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: March 13, 2021, 03:24:20 AM »
 :cheer:   :applause: :applause: :applause:  :cheer:

Therapy / Re: Unknowns of starting therapy
« on: March 06, 2021, 05:33:16 AM »
So refreshing to hear of a good first step, Pioneer.  :thumbup: Wishing more good vibes as you venture into this new leg of the journey. It might be rough at times, but you already know that.

Best wishes as you seek safe harbour.  :hug:

Please try to be safe and easy with yourself, jazzy.  A similar occurrence affected my life around 20 years ago, but it still reverberates, especially on hearing of experiences like yours.


Thanks for the understanding and support, Hope and Snowdrop. It means a lot.

And now comes the aftershock, I guess. I was optimistic after the sibling's call ended, and while I felt good about the inner-led response I was able to make, that just by having a phone line I was still so vulnerable.

Yes, it's popular to say that vulnerability serves a purpose, even a positive one on occasion. And yes, I felt better about re-establishing my boundary with the sibling. Except -- my safety feels threatened, just by having had the contact, initiated as it was by the other party who should have known I wouldn't be receptive, that the chapters those memories trigger for me are off limits.

And yet, those limits were, once more, violated anyway. My sleep has deteriorated following that, sensing that maybe I'm so wrong to want safety, or at least want what I've worked to achieve stick around.

I know this lament isn't just a solo occasion, as so many others on this forum have reported. Still it is a major discouragement to wonder when the next try on the part of someone from my troubled times will occur.

Now I'm left to wonder -- will I be left alone or always subject to harassment from others who don't seem to get the message. Not entirely sure why I'm writing this way about what was a somewhat positive response. I should feel good about that, right? But ... well, you know, I'm sure; those circular fears that go like this ---  :stars:

Thanks for listening. I need to go with the good part, I suppose. Maybe having written this some of the aftershock 'trigger' might at least ease off.

General Discussion / Re: Do you have a "worst time of day"?
« on: March 01, 2021, 05:42:31 PM »
My toughest time is usually the nightfall scenario you mention, CactusFlower.

My version of dusk-time danger involves hearing disembodied  'voices' from my past. These resemble echoes, I guess, and consist of the types of things my FOO and other abusers used to belittle me with. These voices can blend to where it feels like I'm surrounded by a pack of wolves about to descend on me once more.

For years, I floundered at this; usually just disappearing under sheets, covering my ears with pillows, etc. It was terrifying. I'm doing better these days, following a suggestion and encouragement from my T. Her idea seemed radical to me at first, but bottom line, I've found it works (though not always).

Her suggestion was to respond in kind, with shouts if necessary, similar to what they did to me. They're no longer really present so there's no conflict involved; just a release of my fears with this sort of in-kind return-the-favour activity. Fortunately I live alone so feel free to create my own response. In 'normal' life, I'm neither violent or vocal; but this seems helpful, and as my T notes, it's returning, in a sense, what was done to me. 

Of course what worked for me might not be effective for someone else. Like much of our coping, it might even seem a bit radical, but having been on the edge of 'reality' for so long, what used to seem strange isn't always the case.

I hope your night-falls can find an element of peace.  :hug:

Therapy / Re: Unknowns of starting therapy
« on: March 01, 2021, 04:52:58 PM »
Therapy these days seems such a mixed bag. My own has stretched out over several T's with a variety of approaches. It took some while to find someone who I felt truly comfortable with.

I've come to accept that I need deep therapy for lots of reasons. I think (reluctantly)of trauma therapy as a lifelong project, and I know my best therapy comes from what I can absorb internally, sometimes on my own (reading, videos, etc.). Yet I'd feel truly lost without a wise T's expertise to validate and support my own efforts.

Yes, I'm a patient, but my T's style veers more towards respecting that any client deserves respect, and credit, for being fully human and all that involves. Sadly, from what I've been able to observe, this isn't always the case with how T's approach their 'caring' side.

Hopefully your T will have reviewed the materials you've given by way of the M.D. Especially important is to discern if the T truly knows the full scope of C-ptsd vs ptsd. Even bringing a favoured book might help to at least establish where you're at.

It's natural to be a bit nervous. Many of us are quite sensitive, for obvious reasons. I hope, all things considered, your experience with T will be helpful for your healing journey.  :hug:


Introductory Post / Re: Finally hello
« on: March 01, 2021, 03:04:59 AM »
Greetings, Alden  :wave:

Cptsd can be a lonely slog, so it's good to know you've at least found this forum. It's a place which doesn't promise instant fixes, but does provide leads to finding other ways forward, one more step away from the past and towards a better future.

The length of this post rather resembles how long this mostly avoidant dance with the bothersome sibling I shall  mention has gone on. I tried trimming it, but I think it'll have to stand as is -- mainly because I can't bear the thought of going there anymore. It's like I'm still carting off the bricks from this:  :fallingbricks:

A few years back, I finally whittled down my chances of ever encountering any members of the FOO again. Mostly I did this by first relocating but mostly just sticking to my resolve to honour my boundaries, not answering inquiries, etc.; things like that. And, other than an occasional attempt by one sibling to try contacting me via things like birthday cards, my resolve has held steady.

Until a few days ago, when that person managed to get a phone call through. I tried to stay aloof and hope the call would be short. Then something happened -- call it a bout of dissociation or something of that sort -- a trance-like feeling that takes over when a threat is perceived (e.g. trigger/flashback territory). I'm fairly sure that comes closest to explaining what happened, but I remember talking as if my Higher Self had taken over my part of the conversation.

I'm easily spooked talking about this sort of thing, and would rather disappear  :disappear: than speak my truth. This time, though, the Higher Self (or whatever to call it) became quite eloquent in reestablishing my justification for holding to my boundaries. Finall,it felt like I'd found a voice deep within that enabled me to reestablish what I need to make plain -- that I'm long past needing or wanting to have anything to do with FOO.

This was no time to back away, I needed a statement that would finally make my intentions clear. And, thanks to what I'm calling my inner Higher Self, I seemed to establish that I have to remain no-contact. My higher Self 'voice' seemed to find words that made no bones about why I've spent so much of my life avoiding any contact with FOO. Amazingly, it seemed to register with the sibling as to the why of my no-contact years and my need to continue in that vein.

I've told myself to be open to surprises regarding what might happen while on the trail of building an entirely new life. One of my biggest fears was that I'd be totally devastated if any of them succeeded at any contact. Here's the deal -- that contact was a surprise I didn't want in the worst way, but afterwards it feels like I cleared out some of the fog. How? I'm not entirely sure, but somehow it's as if my inner/higher Self DID take over the situation and speak as 'me', if that makes any sense. Whatever happened, it's the first time there was any indication that the sibling now has a firm understanding of why I haven't been around the FOO circle for several decades and it's my intention to hold to that.

Defeatist that I am (or have been) I've had a hard time believing that entities such as one's inner/higher Self might really help. Aided by those who've mentioned how the IFS system can function, I'm pleased to be changing my fear of finding an IFS-like path. Or, having failed so miserably to find much that really seemed to work before, how this time I've been drawn to take another look at fitting more IFS approaches into my recovery toolkit. So I offer a hearty thanks  :wave:  :hug: to those of you who've shared your own positive experiences with IFS.

Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: February 24, 2021, 07:33:56 PM »
I recall reading your entries around the incident you felt so awful about, remembered too the panic and fear you were filled with about it. Then felt cheered when you reported that you'd survived and were able to bypass letting the incident take over your life and destroy the progress you were making.

You said you've been wondering about somehow observing that anniversary. Just my opinion, but perhaps you've already done a proper observation by expressing your feelings about it here. There may be other ways to go, but as you noted the truly important part is the self-care, in whatever form that takes, that will further highlight and solidify the progress your life's path took at that point. It may have felt a bit of a downer at the time, but  you put in some admirable self-care despite the fears that also came up about what happened.

I'm just saying it's very heartening to see the self-care you've been incorporating all along, however that gets symbolized (or if it does so at all).

Meanwhile, here's best wishes for your interview process.  :hug:

Conferences/Courses / Re: Natural Vision summit
« on: February 21, 2021, 03:07:19 AM »
Thanks, Snowdrop ... very helpful pointers. I've had huge vision problems and I can trace most of it through an emotional pattern of just wanting to not see what was so horrible.

The 'other shoe' is realizing just how deep a hole some of the mind/body tie-ins team up to create such misery. It's the overwhelm angle we're all familiar with. One step at a time seems so slow and useless sometimes, but on the other hand it can be the only feasible option.

Anyway, thanks so much  :hug: for linking to this info.

Recovery Journals / Re: Snowdrop's journal
« on: February 17, 2021, 04:37:57 AM »
So great to see you are still roaming along recovery's trail.  :) Due to some things you've written, I've begun probing deeper into IFS sorts of approaches and finding them to be helping my own rather fragile trail seeking to get beyond the surface hurts.and all that still seems to hol me back.

Also -- great thanks for the link per the vision connection -- I've had glaucoma and feel there was a connection there as well -- like I really didn't want to see what I was seeing -- I used to even vigorously rub my eyes due to what I didn't want to see about being in this world.

Enough of my  rattlings -- mostly I just wanted to welcome you back here and, if okay, express it this way  :hug:.

General Discussion / Re: Parts of me
« on: February 16, 2021, 07:16:36 PM »
Yes, I've experienced this sort of foreign (especially at first) voice taking over; also the wonder from other parts of me less in tune with their (mine) true inner nature.

What you experienced goes by many names. What comes to mind for me is the large Self or Observer presence spoken of in various approaches like IFS and psychosynthesis. It's like we all have this voice but usually can't access it due to traumas that lead to cptsd and seem to get stuck, especially messing up our self-confidence.

We've often been trained out of acknowledging that we even have this or can ever access it. It's part of the inner 'injury' where outside sources can overrun it with messages like : you're no good, and never will be, etc., ad infinitum.

Another phrase I ran into called this phenomenon "The Soul's Code" emerging, where your internal truth (knowing you are a good person) overrides the previous inner doubts. This rather upsets one's inner critic and other parts, but sometimes it's beneficial to just move past what's held one back before. It's like a cloud moving aside for the blue sky that was always also there.

When this first happened, I too was rather scared -- it wasn't like me to be or feel confident like I finally did. I still stumbled (still do) with these sorts of situations, but at least I'd finally recognized that I was in no way the miserable wreck I was trained to be.

It is normal but scary if you've never experienced this before. Just my opinion, but it can be a good sign that you're able to rise above all the junk you've internalized from others.  This just shows that, inside, you're a strong and wonderful person; free to be you.


Recovery Journals / Re: Moving Forwards
« on: February 16, 2021, 06:47:17 PM »
Hi, Blueberry.

Thanks for sharing your process with what's been going on -- it has helped me put some perspective on my own dealings with these sorts of things (I no longer have anything like even the distant contact you have, though I'm still dealing with intrusive thoughts that resemble what you've reported).

Anyway, I appreciated the reminder of the 3 c's -- about how you didn't cause, can't cure, and can't control (except one's own actions). There's some pain there, but so much common sense. Part of the deal with cptsd, at least for me, is circling back to the vantage point of self-realization, and that I have the strength to do this, stepping further away from dropping into the trap of feeling like a victim.

Sorry to bop into your journal like this; all I wanted was to acknowledge how your approach has also helped fortify my own outlook in these sorts of situations.

General Discussion / Re: Agressive thoughts [TW]
« on: February 06, 2021, 10:16:36 PM »
I do a lot of thinking of this sort, wondering about thoughts -- so perhaps that helps explain why this response ended up longer than I'd probably like.

As humans we seem to have endless possibilities, fed by thousands of thoughts that can resemble a roaring waterfall pouring all sorts of information into our brains. Some stick there, while others move downstream and onto something else.

It's too much, really; and where they all come from, some expected but mostly not, is hard to figure. Somehow we also have a capacity or wherewithal to at least partially decide what we notice, what we discard or hang onto, or put in our 'either/or' basket.

Sometimes we're not really sure, or mature enough, to decide what seems to truly belong and/or what we want to keep. Unfortunately, our development can be rather dependent on outside thoughts, especially those originating from those people around us when very young. And -- too often, at least with regard to c-ptsd -- the thoughts can dreadfully mess things up.

If we suffer from enough abuse and/or trauma, we're thrust into confusion, contradiction, and panic over what's going on. It's very easy to internalize it and start blaming ourselves, not knowing any better.

Meanwhile more thoughts continue pouring down the waterfall. Hopefully we'll learn how to discern enough to not be so affected by too many negative vibes. Boy, is that easily said, but so hard to wriggle free of. It starts being contradictory to what life seemed to be. It leaves us in a fragile state of anxiety and self-doubt.

Okay, so that's my drift. My point is simply that our thoughts come and go, often from sources we have no clue about. The most prone to stick, unfortunately can also be very troubling when we can finally try to figure it out.

Bottom line -- the never-ending deluge of thoughts is very much a normal part of what humanity is supposed to be about. Yes, we have lots of aggressive or contradictory thoughts in the human package. Many of these thoughts can't be stopped or easily controlled. Judging them as wrong or bad isn't so much the problem. Picking out the ones that don't seem attuned to our authentic self is challenging, and tiring; especially considering the innocence in which we develop.

In lieu of full control, all we can do is hope for better discernment, built on our own inner sense of self; problematic as it needs time to grow and develop in order to withstand abusive outside influence. Some thoughts aren't really "our own", but were thrust upon us by others.

Hope you made it this far -- in summary, thoughts aren't always random, but can derive from many sources. And it's okay to not be okay about certain thoughts, too. Maybe there's a reason for them, but scoping them out can feel like like trying to find the needle in the haystack. As for the ones that obviously don't fit who we are, we have the choice to honour our own values as to whether they truly reflect who we are. Sometimes, they really are just thoughts.

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