Tag Archives: emotional pain

Thoughtful Thursday #280 – Processing Emotions In Vicarious Ways

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Vicarious – Meaning -experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.

I never liked fluffy stories with forced happy endings like on the Hallmark channel,  I prefer to know what makes the characters tick even if there is a strange ending, on a regular basis I prefer non-fiction.

It is common that being in a psychologically dysfunctional environment growing up or as an adult it is unsafe to express our emotions.

When our emotions are not validated we can get them validated through music, art, reading stories, crime dramas, going to the movies, etc. you can add to the list.

We can better understand what we are feeling through these venues, we can relate to the struggles, fear, sadness, injustice or joy of the characters. By having these venues to relate to is a beginning to finding some safety within to express ourselves.

You are not alone, given the magnitude of how many people use these outlets all of us are using them to validate our own expressiveness.

Carry on. Express away.

Thoughtful Thursday #274 – Mass Murder and Mental Health

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There are many Mass Murderers in recent history who murder lots of innocent people. Their methods of murder vary.

These actions are typical of a walking wounded adult child. This behavior may have be a last ditch effort to ease the psychological pain the person endured their entire life. Or perhaps their mind is so twisted from the ongoing dysfunction of a pathological household they actually enjoy hurting as many people as possible, or maybe they are not in touch with their own humanity and feel justified in this heinous actions.These actions are caused from poor mental health.

I am sure there are red flags in this type of self absorbed behavior for a very long time. However no one came forward to report concerns to the authorities.

Normal people don’t go around destroying others, it’s a simple fact.

Mental health is the number one concern next to physical health to live in this fast moving world.  the The need for mental health information and practical resources must come into the public view more readily to end these useless acts of violence.

I will certainly keep writing about ending senseless violence on all levels by reminding everyone to take their mental health seriously.

Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about mental health, we will all be so much happier.

Thoughtful Thursday #271 – José Micard Teixeira Author & Coach

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Here’s a post from one of my favorite writers, in this short article he says what most of us want to express.

His writing is a reminder that we must choose to be ourselves always even if you are unsure, scared or insecure. Live like  “a rebel with no shame” as Mr. Teixeira says.

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I repel everything that’s supposed to be. I reject everything that it’s imposed on me. I can’t stand conditions or hierarchies. All this immodesty and false humility angers me. I have a hard time accepting injustice and prejudice. I hardly can make friendships and partnerships because it demands from me what I don’t want or know how to give. I’m a loner with an optimistic attitude who seeks to postpone everyday his mental illness. I’m not mad, but I love the madness in finding me mad. I’m proud of who I am. I’m not going to change for anyone. I don’t care about what others think of me. I do what I want and I say whatever I feel like. I’m a rebel with no shame. There’s nothing else to do. I’ll die smiling.

José Micard Teixeira
Author & Coach

Thoughtful Thursday #260 – Recovery

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Any recovery journey is really about taking care of yourself – you can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself first. You can’t make sense of your circumstances until you take the step to be good to yourself and examine what is going on.

Recovery from anything is to look at yourself without judgement or criticism but rather with curiosity and compassion.

We must learn about those deeply hidden secrets we keep from ourselves, and uncover their origin.

Recovery is about looking at yourself and comforting yourself as you cry buckets of tears, as you express anger, as you throw your fists up a the incredible injustices you have endured.

After all this expression, over and over, you come out on the other side-instead of crying there’s compassion, instead of anger there is peace, instead of raging at injustice you are living a life of justice.

In my life I get why my high functioning father became so cruel and hateful and addicted to drugs and alcohol – his childhood was horrible – males and females were addicts and alcoholics and he was illegitimate. I get that my mother was a high functioning schizophrenic and so was her mother, my mother was a mess.

She and my father were ill equipped to be parents or decent human beings.  They lived their lives enjoying cruelty and being surrounded with those who were the same. They died without ever recovering and no acknowledgement of their disgusting display of hatred towards me or anyone else. I was the scapegoat until their very last breath.

I get it. I don’t condone it – it was not OK on any level and sadly there was no changing them.

So as painful as it was I had to journey alone and for a very long time in my own trauma recovery. My message to you is recovery is very possible.

Recovery will require that you commit to creating a better life for yourself. You will have to show up to therapy, groups of like minded folks, crying, writing, grounding your emotions, all one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one breath at a time.

You deserve a wonderful life, you deserve to be cared about. You deserve to be safe, You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be respected. You deserve to be loved and don’t let any negative person or internal false belief tell you otherwise.

 

Thoughtful thursday #251 – Thoughts And Actions

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There are two things that we have complete control over. Our thoughts and actions. That is pretty much it.

Things that go on outside of us are uncontrollable. We may have a chance to use our own actions to influence the event. That is still controlling our actions. We can take an action that will influence our own lives or someone else’s in a positive way.

We can’t stop our thoughts, that is the purpose of our mind is to think but we can stop useless thoughts by practicing redirecting our thoughts. For example, if someone is talking bad about you or someone else you can choose to stop those negative thoughts that put you down the rabbit hole of despair and change the subject to something positive.

Take note: This kind of mindfulness is not easy, when you start and you can expect your mind to resist change. This is good because resistance will show you where you need look at your own issues. Be kind to yourself as you make these positive changes, if you become distracted, redirect when you can. You are worth the effort.

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 – #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 #235 – Mind Blindness

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Mind blindness is my code for believing anything you are told or believe to be true, especially when it is not.

Mind blindness causes prejudice, destructive false beliefs, tons of fear, missed opportunities, misrepresentation, isolation, sadness and creates many reasons to thwart camaraderie and friendship.

It is no easy feat to see our own mind blindness yet so easy to see it in others. It is easier to judge rather than see our own huge false beliefs disguised by mind blindness.

First, let’s start by uncovering our own false beliefs about ourselves, let’s stop beating ourselves up as not good enough, or rich enough, or wise enough or good-looking enough.

Let’s acknowledge that we have our blind spots but we have so much to add to the world. Let’s be open and honest enough to examine and question our own mind blindness.

Ask questions, why do I believe as I do, why do those I know act as they do, what is the truth behind that mystery that is bothering you.

You may be very surprised at the result of questioning your own mind blindness. The more we question what we believe the more open we we are to understanding no only ourselves but most other people too.

 

Understand This

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Here’s a quote from Yolo Akili’s book:  Dear Universe; Letters of Affirmation and Empowerment – For All Of Us –

Principles of Human Communication:

#5 Understand that everyone interprets the world through their own ideas, past experience, psychological framework, social location and pain. You see the world based on where you have been. You see the world based on who you are, based on how you are perceived and how you perceive others. Those perceptions are not absolute. They are not the only truth, and they are not the only way of knowing things. Understand this.

The author is pointing out that in order to have effective communication with other humans we must put aside our own beliefs.  By putting aside our own beliefs we will better understand where the other human is coming from. As a result you will have a clearer, more truthful communication.

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