Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"

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C.

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2.   Over the course of a week or two, look over any old family albums and photographs or home movies you may have.  Just leave them around the house so that you can look at them and think about them at your leisure.  If you have no photographic records of the past, try some visualization exercises, such as imagining taking a walk though your childhood home, your relatives' houses or your old school.

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C.

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 12:10:04 AM »
I'm not ready at the moment to do this activity.

Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 01:10:49 AM »
Me neither. If I ever did this, I'd lock the material up in a radiation-proof containment chamber, and once a week it would be carefully opened and begin to emit its dread power. There'd be sound effects, maybe the kind of violin music you get in horror movies, fiddling its way to a crazed crescendo. A general panic. Cries of: "Quick, before it reaches critical mass!", and WHAM, the container would slam shut again.

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Kizzie

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 01:23:44 AM »
I'm so glad you both posted about this as I too feel it's too much right now too, like I would "unleash the hounds from *" if I were to get out those pictures.  I've been having a mild-moderate EF since seeing the people I lived with when I was finishing high school yesterday (I slept for three hours this afternoon), so I can only imagine what looking at pictures of young me would ignite.  I'd try revisiting this step at some point later on when I feel more ready though. 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 01:27:44 AM by Kizzie »

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C.

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 01:51:08 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly.  I wonder what the benefits of looking at the pictures would be?  Perhaps to help develop love and compassion for ourselves...I hope that one day I'll find a friend to do this for a few hours.  Theme music and all haha But a few hours each year is likely PLENTY ;)

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bee

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 08:16:31 PM »
I've done this a little in the past, not recently. I also feel it is not something to be done until you are good and ready. When I did it, even in small bursts it unleashed major ***t storms.
I remember looking at a kindergarten school picture of me caused me to sobb, that happy little girl was obliterated, she never had a chance. Maybe it's good if you want to get in contact with your emotions, but if you still need to figure out the emotional regulation part, not such a good idea imho.

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anosognosia

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2015, 10:52:09 AM »
For some reason old photographs don't trigger me.

I have a few where I blew them up into a PDF file and wrote on them (saying things like "I love you" and "I will help you figure out how to protect yourself") and tears start flowing....

But I have old photos in my home scattered around and they don't bother me.

(Mind you, a lot of the photos are either of myself alone or with friends, not with my family.)

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C.

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2015, 09:18:07 PM »
I took out some old photos and looked through them.  For me too, they aren't so triggering.  I'm not sure why.  But, having worked in the Early Childhood field and with children I was struck by my facial expressions.  In the majority I am not smiling, am not being hugged and am not engaging in the "gaze" so common to healthy attachment.  Even the Easter picture from when I was 10 yrs old I have a flat expression.  Starting in my teens I "smile", but it's clearly a pose.  I think that I was relatively happy off and on from my teens on, in spite of the FOO challenges.  In fact, as I'm writing I'm remembering that during my adolescence I pretty much realized how inappropriate my parents relationship to each other, and my father in general, were.   However, I did find an essay about my "future" where I pretty much mirrored a future just like my mom's...

The pictures, that bring me too much grief are of my family life (kids, husband and me) while married.  20+ years.  My T simply commented that is common for some people, that the memory of a husband is too painful for a long time.  And the weird thing is that on an intellectual level I really don't want to be with my ex, but my gut still hurts for some reason.  I cannot leave these pictures laying around unless I want to experience an EF.

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VeryFoggy

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2015, 11:36:39 PM »
I am so glad to hear a lot of people feel the same way about this activity.  I knew I couldn't do it because I was filled with revulsion just reading the activity.  Just thinking about it made me nauseous.  So I feel a bit better about that - knowing I am not alone.

I am not at all sure I am ready for this workbook. But am going to try to stick it out, at least silently and posting where I feel I can.

One thought I keep having is, maybe when the book was created, not a lot was known about CPTSD?  And maybe if you don't have it, you can look at this stuff and not get traumatized.  But I am finding it quite difficult.  I don't want to be in an EF most of my life. But I am having trouble with that and the workbook.  I feel really sad and down and dark, like darkness descends on my world while doing these exercises.

Honestly?  I get a lot more from looking at a great sunrise, or seeing still bare tree braches through the fog, or petting my dogs.  I am looking better to feel better, not worse.

But I will keep at it and hope it gets better.

Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 01:16:51 PM »
Yes, I wondered about that too, whether the book was simply aimed at people who don't have CPTSD.

The introductory chapter says something about how you don't actually have to do these exercizes in any order. It says that many people do several at once, or revisit an exercize later, or skip one. So the authors seem very aware that it's sometimes best to skip something.

It's still good to talk about this exercize. Like you, I felt relieved that I'm not the only one.

I read about another exercize once: this one told you to cut pictures out of magazines that remind you of your past. Not actual, literal representations of what happened. Just pictures that symbolized something, or that resonated with you, or that created a feeling you knew from your past. They said you could then collage them into a kind of timeline. Now, the thing is, even just that might be triggering. But it's a step removed from having to confront photos of real actual events and people. So maybe that's an option for later, once things have quieted down and we're feeling a bit readier to go dungeon-diving into our past.

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Kizzie

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 07:07:39 PM »
I want to stick with it too VF, I just don't want to end up so triggered I'm not functioning so I think when something feels like it will be too much we just go with that feeling.

There's lots of time and as you mentioned Cat the workbook does suggest there is no one way of using the material.  I just posted over in the drawing pictures thread and just the visuals involved in that were quite powerful, so I can only imagine what looking at photos would be like.  NOt quite ready for that  :sadno:

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Annegirl

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 2 "Family Albums and Photographs"
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 04:03:16 AM »
I also don't have any photos of my FOO and can't look at them. I have extended family who post photos up on Facebook sometimes and i always go into ef.