Thoughtful Thursday #250 – Ghost Stories of the Past

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I like ghost stories on TV and in books. They are kind of scary and kind of silly.

I don’t like flashbacks of shadowy ghost stories and past violations and the need to look over my shoulder.

Even those days are long gone there is a part of me that still holds those ghost stories, They are actually the traumatized part of me that have not been updated to the present safe moments.

In trauma there are many subtle, under my consciousness beliefs that manage to slip into my daily behavior. Even though I am quite aware of this behavior I don’t always see these trauma beliefs being acted out until it’s too late.

To get past my personal ghost stories I write a lot to get those hidden ghost stories out into the open. From there I can examine the belief and set the past free and update my beliefs to a more modern and current conclusion.

Afterwards I feel refreshed, grounded and content.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #249 – Putting a Name to Feelings

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I love words. Words can be so very healing.

There were many times I could not identify what I was feeling so I would go to the dictionary online or in a real book and start looking up what the feeling might be.

The result was surprising. The words that stood out to me made sense to what I was feeling. I would look up the synonyms for those words and eventually come up with identifying the feeling.

Here is an example:

betray-expose, treacherously reveal as in secrets, be disloyal to.

Synonym-abandon, deceive, forsake, double cross.

You get the idea.

So the next time you have one of those unidentifiable feelings, go to the dictionary, with curiosity and no judgement, start looking up some words to help you get clarity on how you are feelings.

The healing magic happens when you can identify those feelings lying just under your consciousness. Our minds are so busy with other chatter it is hard to be in touch with how you feel.

Feelings need to be exposed to heal. It can be scary but only for a little while.

Give this a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday – #248 – The Solution for Trauma Recovery

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Trauma recovery is my favorite subject. Mostly because I have experienced it for many years. Here are some characteristics of victims of  dysfunctional upbringing. This includes dealing with alcoholics and the mentally ill.

Janet G. Woititz, PhD wrote the book for Adult Children of Alcoholics in 1983 and in her book she lists the following.

  • Guess at what normal behavior is
  • Have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end
  • Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth
  • Judge themselves without mercy
  • Have difficulty having fun
  • Take themselves very seriously
  • Have difficulty with intimate relationships
  • Overreact to changes over which they have no control
  • Constantly seek approval and affirmation
  • Feel that they’re different from other people
  • Are super responsible or super irresponsible
  • Are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved
  • Are impulsive—They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing, and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

Of course, if you’re a child of an alcoholic, etc., that doesn’t mean that everything on this list will apply to you. But it’s likely that at least some of it will.

Quoting from Adult Children of Alcoholics book:

The solution is:

The solution is to become your own loving parent.

This involves finding the right meetings, therapist, safe place to re-learn how to become the person you are meant to be. Find a way to unburden the unexpressed grief you hold, see your family dysfunction for what it was, and keep the focus on the here and now. None of it was your fault but it is your work to heal.

It is not easy to do this work, just start where you are and take as much time as you need. You are worth it.

Thoughtful Thursday #247 – What Does It Take To Recover From Trauma

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In a word – persistence. However, recovery from trauma is not a linear process, there are ups and downs, erroneous paths, false information, shady gurus, promises of instant recovery.

There are many recovery styles. Take you pick, affirmations, videos, reading books about other people’s journey, therapy, music, writing, art, exercise. You can add to the list. And not all with resonate with you. And that is OK.

This is where persistence comes in.

Do whatever it takes to restore your sense of safety and empowerment, clear headedness, and life’s path.

It may take a while but you are worth the effort and I guarantee that you will be happy with the results.

 

Lies People Believe Rather Than Believing Victims Of Abuse

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CynthiaBaileyRug

When a victim of abuse has proof of abuse, such as bruises or broken bones, that person is usually believed.  Sadly, the emotional warfare narcissists dish out doesn’t leave such obvious physical evidence behind, & many victims aren’t believed because of that.  As a result, victims are often re-victimized by people who don’t believe them, & who accuse them of exaggerating, lying, seeking attention or being the abuser who is trying to cover our tracks.  This often includes a victims own friends & family.

The excuses people give as to why they don’t believe a victim may sound plausible, but in reality, they aren’t.  This post shares some commonly used excuses.  I apologize in advance to those who find this post triggering or upsetting!  

“She is too nice.  I can’t imagine this sweet person abusing anyone!”  Abusers hide their cruel activities from everyone but their victim.  By acting “nice” around…

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The OTHER Serenity Prayer

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Intentergy

The Other Serenity Prayer“The Serenity Prayer” is one that I pray a lot. By “a lot” I mean, I have seriously considered tattooing it to my forearm because it is that much a part of my day.

Recently I found “The OTHER Serenity Prayer” on Pinterest.

It goes like this:

God, grand me the serenity to stop beating myself up for
not doing things perfectly,
the courage to forgive myself because I am working on doing better, and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.

What a perfect prayer!

If you feel like you are struggling with your own imperfections, say this prayer for yourself.

If there is someone in your life who could use a reminder that we are all works in progress, please share this with them.

I am grateful for the wisdom and understanding this prayer brings. Bring it to someone you love…

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Thoughtful Thursday #246 – A Better Life

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Improving your life is a spiritual practice because it requires mindfulness.

What is mindfulness? Focusing one’s attention on the present moment.

This is what being spiritual means, being mindful of your own actions and adjusting your actions on the road to improvement.

Simple enough but not easy to do. Keep trying, spiritual things take a while.

Thoughtful Thursday #245 – Internalizing Emotional Pain

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Internalized emotional pain is personal slavery and a prim and proper intimate prison in your mind. It’s where we have been triggered and swallowed emotional pain for any number of reasons. Maybe we have been betrayed by someone you trusted, or out of the blue you were the target of cruelty, perhaps you have been the object of someone’s dysfunctional projections, and the result is you feel a life situation has crushed you.

We can recognize how we have internalized emotional pain. We have excessive worry, over indulge in social media, phantom physical sensations, venting at others expense, wanting to retaliate, self-destructive behaviors, your self-esteem is nowhere in sight, there’s a presence of anxiety, sadness, and social isolation, we blow up over nothing.

This is a painful way to live, very painful, I understand how it feels, and no one is immune internalizing emotional pain.

If you are struggling with sorting out emotional pain, hang in there, initially the pain may be  too much, that’s OK, take some time to process what has happened.

Practice self-care: acknowledge what happened, save yourself from further pain, summon up compassion for yourself, internalizing emotional pain does not make you tough, confrontation may be appropriate but do it with a calm voice, find someone who will listen to you unconditionally, write it out on a piece of paper, write every last emotion and detail, find whatever you need to bring a sense of groundedness and peace back to your mind,  look within yourself for an answer that works for you.

In time the pain will pass, that’s the beauty of time and self-care and perhaps you will learn that you are really very strong and can be grow internally and handle the next situation with self-protection and authority as the mighty, capable person that your are.

 

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

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I usually write with stream of consciousness because it’s easy and therapeutic. Here’s an article about several writers who use this method very effectively. From Quiklit.com.

10 WRITERS WHO USE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE

By May Huang

A narrative technique that has perplexed and fascinated readers for centuries, the stream of consciousness technique has been used by many writers to trace the seamless (and oft erratic) musings of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Stephen Dedalus. Below are 10 writers whose works – ranked amongst the finest in English literature – feature the stream of consciousness technique.

Okay, but what is Stream of Consciousness?

Stream of Consciousness is a type of writing that originated with the works of psychologist William James (Brother of Novelist Emeritus Henry James). Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain. It also permits writers to simulate different forms of consciousness, such as dreams, comas, drug use and hallucinatory seances.

  1. Dorothy Richardson

Considered the pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, 20th century British author Dorothy Richardson was the first author to publish a full length stream-of-consciousness novel: Pointed Roofs. In fact, it was in reviewing Pointed Roofs that British author May Sinclaire first coined the term ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in April 1918.

On one side was the little grey river, on the other long wet grass repelling and depressing. Not far ahead was the roadway which led, she supposed to the farm where they were to drink new milk. She would have to walk with someone when they came to the road, and talk. She wondered whether this early morning walk would come, now, every day. Her heart sank at the thought.” from Pointed Roofs

  1. William Faulkner

Recipient of both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, American author William Faulkner used the stream of consciousness technique to great effect in The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, exploring the depths of different characters’ inner conflict through disjointed, unpunctuated narrative. In one short paragraph, the reader is at once exposed to different smells, sounds and movement:

“Nonsense you look like a girl you are lots younger than Candace color in your cheeks like a girl A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honey suckle. Bringing empty trunks down the attic stairs they sounded like coffins […]” – from As I Lay Dying

  1. James Joyce

Dublin born writer James Joyce employed the stream-of-consciousness style in all of his novels, including Finnegans WakeA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and – of course – the 1000-page, 265,000-word long Ulysses. It is easy to get lost in any paragraph in the novel, as the protagonist Stephen Dedalus guides us quickly – and disjointedly – through his thoughts and surroundings. One moment he is asking himself, “Would you go back to then?” and the next he is on Grafton street, pondering whether to buy a pincushion while the “jingle of harnesses” sounds in his ears. Then, out of the blue, he answers himself and concludes that it would be “useless to go back.” Next thing you know, he’s moved on to Duke Street and we’re not quite sure how he – or we – got there.

  1. Virginia Woolf

 

Recognized as the most important feminist writer (and perhaps one of the most important writers in general) of all time, Virginia Woolf used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Paying scrupulous attention to detail and describing even “the footman’s hand,” “parcels and umbrellas.” Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings in Mrs. Dalloway. She makes us wonder who is speaking – and about what.

  1. Marcel Proust

French writer Marcel Proust also used the stream-of-consciousness style in his works, notably in the seven-volume long Remembrance of Things Past, in which even the simple childhood memory of eating a petite madeleine plunges one into the “vast structure of recollection.” Reading Proust, one is caught up in the taste and smell of the pastry, “the water-lilies on the Vivonne” and “Sunday mornings at Combray” – all of which are memories that converge in the narrator’s stream of consciousness.

  1. Jack Kerouac

American writer Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now remembered as one of the defining novels of the Beat Generation – as well as a modern example of stream-of-consciousness writing. Originally written over a course of 3 weeks on one scroll of paper (deemed the ‘original scroll’),On the Road is based on Kerouac’s road trip across America, a journey at times vividly recounted in continuous stream-of-consciousness prose, fusing both description of land and memory:

The brown hills led off towards Nevada; to the South was my legendary Hollywood; to the North the mysterious Shasta country. Down below was everything: the barracks where we stole our tiny box of condiments, where Dostioffski’s tiny face had glared at us […]” from On the Road

  1. José Saramago

Portuguese Nobel Prize Laureate Jose Saramago, like Woolf, also liked to alternative between narratives and use stream-of-consciousness in his writing. In Blindness, Saramago uses long sentences and eschews quotation marks to enhance the seamlessness of his prose, allowing the stream-of-consciousness to run free of interruption:

The very air in the ward seemed to have become heavier, emitting strong lingering odours, with sudden wafts that were simply nauseating, What will this place be like within a week, he asked himself, and it horrified him to think that in a week’s time, they would still be confined here, Assuming there won’t be any problems with food supplies, and who can be sure there isn’t already a shortage, I doubt, for example, whether those outside have any idea from one minute to the next…” – from Blindness

  1. Samuel Backett

The second French writer on this list, Samuel Beckett used the stream of consciousness technique in his Three Novels (Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable) to deliver a stream of observations and musings on time and existence. In fact, Molloy defies conventional grammar and tense rules in order to emphasize the continuity of the narrator’s non-stop train of thought:

What shall I do? What shall I do? now low, a murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s And to follow? and often rising to a scream. And in the end, or almost, to be abroad alone, by unknown ways, in the gathering night, with a stick.” – from Molloy

  1. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Although Crime and Punishment is Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s best-known work, his 1864 novella Notes from Underground also sits amongst the classics of Russian literature. Throughout the novel, the ‘Underground Man’ expresses his continuous train of thought through long, comma-filled sentences (even in brackets).

If you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera.” – from Notes from Underground

  1. Toni Morrison

83 year old African American author Toni Morrison published several books on slavery, the most compelling of which is undoubtedly Beloved. The story of a ‘ghost baby’ who returns to her family in the form of a grown woman, Beloved is both a harrowing tale about the horrors of slavery as it is a testament to the unrelenting power of memory. Morrison uses stream of consciousness in one of the final chapters to reveal the intermingling of three characters’ thoughts:

Beloved

You are my sister

You are my daughter

You are my face; you are me

I have found you again; you have come back to me

You are my Beloved

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

I have your milk

I have your smile

I will take care of you

You are my face; I am you. Why did you leave me

who am you?” – from Beloved

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #243 – How To Get Unstuck

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Are you a victim to perfectionism or failure, racing thoughts, numbness, confusion, addictions, inability to trust, poor self talk?

We can treat ourselves in such an awful way by not taking care of ourselves physically and mentally.

Actually mental health is paramount for a successful life.

One way of easing our troubled minds is to ask questions.
Why was I triggered by that comment, why did I slink away from a potential intimate moment, why did I run away so fast that it actually scared me, why did I act that way?

Take a piece of paper or open a word document and start writing every possible scenario, keep going until you can’t think of anything else. By doing this you release all the power of holding these types of concerns in your head.

I guarantee you will be surprised at the insight and peace you experience.  Asking questions to yourself is another tool in your resource box for getting unstuck and have clear mental health.