Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thoughtful Thursday #127 – Lies

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Honesty is very important to me. If I find out someone has deliberately lied they are no longer significant in my life.

I am not talking about little white lies but lies that are deliberately meant of mislead, hurt or deceive me.

Lying, slander, tall tale, backbiting, intentional, callous, uncaring, bullying, mean and violent assaults are done to create nothing but hurt.

There are many reasons why some people can be so emotionally damaging. Perhaps addiction, childhood issues, and other brutal influences. Unfortunately those who lash out are only interested in hurting because they are hurt. They are not even aware of their own motives, it’s very sad.

There is no one way to protect yourself from this kind onslaught, you must figure out a way that suits your situation.

Some of the most popular suggestions are:

Put up strong boundaries, expect to be challenged. Your emotions will go from high to low many times, create a strong support system, call the authorities if necessary, you are not alone, it’s not your fault, reach out for help.

Chronic lying is just the tip of the iceberg, lying is usually a ruse to keep something else secret.

You are important, very important, and you do not deserve to be lied to. It’s as simple as that. Do what you have to do to protect yourself. You are deserving of a safe, calm, and peaceful life.

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Dissociative Amnesia

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Here are bits and pieces of an article about Dissociative Amnesia from the blog: TraumaDissociation.com.

 

3 Types of Dissociative Amnesia - localized, selective and generalized

 

Dissociative Amnesia Dissociative amnesia is the most common Dissociative Disorder. There are several different types of amnesia, and many different causes. Dissociative Amnesia is not caused by head injuries or physical damage to the brain, it is amnesia which has a psychological cause. It can occur as part of a number of other mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder, dissociative identity disorder, somatoform disorder, and anxiety disorders, [3]:298, [7] in any of those cases it would not be classed as a separate disorder. Dissociation Amnesia can last for between a few days to a few years, but is typically less than a week.[4] The period of time which cannot be remembered can range from minutes to decades. Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

Because there is no neurobiological damage or toxicity, and the difficulties are in retrieving a memory which was successfully stored, the amnesia is always “potentially reversible”. [3]:298-299, [7] Neurocognitive disorders involving memory loss usually include cognitive (thinking) and intellectual impairments in memory, these are not present in people Dissociative Amnesia. [3]:300-301 Dissociative amnesia is more likely in people with a history of multiple adverse childhood experiences (especially if they include physical or sexual abuse), people who have experienced interpersonal violence (for example, domestic violence or physical assaults), and the risk increases with the “severity, frequency, and violence of the trauma”. [3]:298-299 Clinical interviews to diagnose Dissociative Amnesia include the SCID-D (revised) by Dr Marlene Steinberg, and the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DDIS). Both of these are capable of diagnosing any dissociative disorder and a number of other disorders as well. [1]:124 Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

The three common types of dissociative amnesia are localized amnesia, selective amnesia (which may occur along with localized amnesia), and generalized amnesia. Generalized amnesia may involve the complete loss of a person’s identity, in addition to all memories of their past. Other forms of dissociative amnesia can also occur; people with generalized amnesia (the most severe type) may also lose semantic knowledge (previous knowledge about the world) and procedural knowledge (forgetting well-learned skills). [3]:298-299 Systematized amnesia is amnesia for a category of information (e.g., no memory of family, no memory of a specific person, or childhood sexual abuse). Continuous amnesia is unable to form new memories. [3]:298-299 Micro-amnesias are also typical in dissociative disorders, the amnesia is for very, very brief periods of time. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation gives the example of forgetting the contents of a conversation from one moment to the next. The person may struggle to work out what was discussed while trying to avoid the other person realizing this. [7] Dissociative Amnesia has been previously known as Psychogenic Amnesia, and Hysterical Amnesia. Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

Dissociative amnesia occurring with fugue should be treated as soon as possible; psychotherapy is the recommended treatment. This should involve a safe environment for therapy and a strong therapeutic alliance. Treatment goals include the recovery of the person’s identity, identifying the triggers linked to the start of the fugue, and working through the traumatic material. Medication given during interviews, and hypnosis may be also help.[7] Recovery is often rapid. [8] When memories begin to return a person often experiences emotions such as grief, rage, shame, guilt, depression and inner turmoil. Many people with Dissociative Amnesia develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lives. [3]:302 Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

The Universe Doesn’t Like You

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Both writer Steven Pressfield and Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker have stated in their writings that there is a quality of life that really doesn’t care about us. Namely the Universe at large.

Steven Pressfield calls it “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Resistance is always there and never goes away and completely impersonal and out to get you.

In the interview with Steven Pinker on Think Big ” Is Human Nature Evil” says the Universe leans toward destruction and chaos rather than out to help you.

I believe both of them.  Both also give an antidote for the unknown, chaos and unpredictability of outcomes in our lives.

  1. Don’t live isolated lives, disorder and chaos automatically increase unless we use our energy to get the information we need to create a purposeful life.
  2. We must use our own intelligence and energy and effort to make things work out.
  3. Expect that things will go wrong and keep persisting in your path.
  4. Life is an uphill battle.

It’s hard to not feel victimized by some of the dumb stuff that hurts you deeply. However, these statements are some of the hard realities in front of us.

Most people will do anything not to look at some of the harsher realities but in my opinion the hard realities are easier to take in very small doses.

So be gentle with yourself and take a step back. You will succeed in creating a wonderful life.

 

 

 

Crying

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We cry in response to emotions like sadness, anger, grief,  frustration,  even happiness and joy.

There’s wailing, weeping, blubbering, lamenting, whimpering, all out bawling to the point of throwing up.

I have a hard time crying in front of others, however, in private I can really let it out. After crying I feel exhausted yet empty.

There is a soothing effect to crying, and can elicit support from others, relieve stress, restore emotional balance, and helps recover from grief.

No matter what you have heard or what you believe about crying: it’s perfectly OK to cry for as long as you want in any way that you want and you will not fall apart, you are not weak or defective.

I guarantee that even if the problem that causes you to cry persists, crying when you need it, will restore your balance.

Take that moment you need to deeply feel what is causing you to cry. You deserve to be relieved of pain.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #215 – Is This My Last Post – Not Really

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The month of May has been Mental Health Awareness month here in the USA. When the month began I decided to write a post every day for that purpose. Today is the last day of May 2018.  I enjoyed writing so much that I will keep up the posts, perhaps not on a daily basis but certainly more than once a week.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed the information I shared and my personal experiences.

It is my deep wish for every one of you to find the healing you need for all your troubles. I know how hard it is sometimes to understand this uncertain world and I am so proud of all who read this blog, you have taken on one of the most important journeys of your life –  the journey of self-discovery.

Keep up the good work and thanks for hanging in there with me and my journey.

I look forward in continuing writing for you.

 

 

Here’s the Reason People Grow Up Idealizing Their Childhood and Parents

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An unexamined life is a gray life. You miss the explosions of insight and groundedness of maturity. Here is a wonderful article by Darius Cikanavicius of the Facebook page: Self Archaeology. He explains the realities of the survival skills children need to survive in precarious situations.

Why People Grow Up Idealizing Their Parents and Upbringing

“With nothing and no one to judge them against, we assume them to be perfect parents. As our world broadens beyond our crib, we develop a need to maintain this image of perfection as a defense against the great unknowns we increasingly encounter. As long as we believe our parents are perfect, we feel protected.”
— Susan Forward, Toxic Parents
Babies and small children are new to the world and their brains and minds are still developing. The biggest influence on a child’s development is their primary caregivers and their immediate environment. That’s where we get our understanding of concepts like love, care, empathy, trust, healthiness, goodness, worth, value, and so on.

Inherently, children believe and trust their caregivers. A child’s parents, other family members, teachers, and similar authority figures shape the child’s beliefs about the world and about themselves. This is how a child learns about self-worth and self-esteem, and about estimating others.The problem is that children have no objective ability to evaluate what they are taught.

As I write in my book Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults, “Children do not have a healthy frame of reference regarding their family environment and their treatment by their caregivers. Children have only experienced what they have experienced and have nothing to compare it to.” And so the smaller the children, the more likely they are to accept the teachings of their caregivers without questioning. This includes explicit teaching and implicit or non-verbal messages. Since children see their parents as all-knowing, all-powerful, and infallible, they also tend to blame themselves for how they are treated. Often they actually are blamed – and actively or passively punished – for disagreeing, being disobedient, or “acting badly.”

The truth behind this is children need their caregivers to survive. The child will die without their caregiver. Therefore, children are extremely sensitive to rejection and have no other choice but to ultimately be as their primary caregivers want them to be. So idealizing them is vital for their survival.

This dependency on a caregiver for survival follows people long into their adulthood. It manifests in different irrational beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. People grow up with a lot of accumulated pain and chronic psychological trauma. For the most part, even as adults most people remain psychologically dependent on their primary caregivers, unable to feel free and happy.

The beliefs people developed and internalized growing up haunt them throughout their lives. Most people idealize their parents even as adults because they have never truly examined their childhood and their early relationships and resolved the root issues, or at least not to the degree where they would feel safe and secure enough to let go of all their illusions and fantasies about an ever-loving parent.

It is extremely difficult to accept that perhaps how you were treated as a child was not normal even when you are a self-sufficient adult; it is impossible to accept when you’re a child. It is so hard because, for most people, it is unbearable to even contemplate risking their bond with their caregiver, no matter how toxic or downright abusive that dynamic may be.

Healing from all of it and growing is a long and complicated process. It often involves feeling emotional pain and discomfort. But it is necessary in order to finally set yourself free and live a happy and authentic life.


For more on these and other topics, check out the author’s books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

Darius Cikanavicius

Darius is the founder of Self-Archeology. He is a writer, educator, mental health advocate, and traveler. Darius has worked professionally with people from all over the world as a psychological consultant and a certified life coach. His main areas of expertise and interest are inner work, childhood trauma, social anxiety, self-esteem, self-care, perfectionism, emotional well-being, narcissism, belief systems, and relationships.

Darius is an author of two books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

For more information about Darius and his work, please visit selfarcheology.com. If you consider Darius for online consulting/coaching, you can find his contact information here or email him.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #213 – 45 Life Lessons by Regina Brett

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People often tell Regina Brett how great she looks for her age. Turns out, she is actually 54 years old — not 90. She wrote down these life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Over that past decade, these lessons have gone viral on the Internet amid claims that she is 90 years old. Luckily, she finds humor in this misrepresentation, knowing how many lives she has touched.

Whatever her age might be, these universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

25. Forgive everyone everything.

26. What other people think of you is none of your business.

27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

30. Believe in miracles.

31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

40. The best is yet to come.

41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Taking Care of Ourselves

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There is no way we can be optimally functioning in our lives if we are unhappy. We go through the motions of doing what we have to do hoping to get through the day as soon as possible.

We all have off days, sometimes off weeks and months, so what do we do?

Take care of ourselves.

What do we really want to do.

Are we taking care of our minds and bodies.

Are our expectations realistic.

Are we reaching out when needed.

You can add to the list. The idea here is to pay attention to what you need and stop functioning out of habit. Do t your are worth it.

Recovery and Resiliency

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If there is one thing wonderful about being human it’s the ability to change. When we experience trauma or other upsetting situations we can recover and bounce back and end up thriving. However, the journey is not an easy one. Even though there is no one path to healing there are some guiding principles to recovery.

  1. there are many pathways to recover.
  2. recovery is self-directed and empowering.
  3. recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation.
  4. recovery has cultural dimensions.
  5. recovery is holistic.
  6. recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness.
  7. recovery emerges from hope and gratitude.
  8. recovery involves a process of healing and self redefinition.
  9. recovery is supported by peers and allies.
  10. recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community
  11. recovery is reality.

The idea here is to find your way to recover. There is no right or wrong way to recover and it is your journey with lots of helpers along the way. Don’t give up.

Helpful Resources

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center – 1-888-357-7924

American Psychological Association Public Education Line – 1-800-964-2000

 

This list is from Page 19 of Mental Health First Aid USA – for adults assisting young people. ISBN:  978-0-9885176-0-8.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #209 – Rejection vs Disappointment

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Rejection – when something doesn’t work out and your self-worth get hammered. You feel beyond hurt, humiliated and dejected.

Disappointed – when something doesn’t work out and you feel from mildly irritated to incredibly annoyed but can move on in spite of the result.

The key here is how attached you are to the outcome.

We are feeling human beings, we can’t just get rid of emotions and that is the way it’s supposed to be. Feelings of rejection or disappointment give you information about what you believe and expect no matter the outcome.And that is a good thing because the more information you have about yourself the more you will grow to the wonderful human being you are now and the superhuman you will be in the future.

Go forth and carry on. You got this.