Tag Archives: healing

Thoughtful Thurdsays #152 – Trauma

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Trauma is when your mind is stuck on a difficult situation from the past. Let me explain. Perhaps you fell on ice and broke your leg. You then needed surgery to fix it. After much healing you are healthy again.

You decide to take a walk and happen upon the same street where you fell. Dread sets in, flashbacks of falling ignite your memory, fear of having surgery again zings in your head. So you avoid that street. You will never walk down that street again because it reminds you of when you fell.

Not every one would react that way but it is not uncommon that our minds go into survival mode after a trauma and reminds us not to venture down that block again. Your mind is trying to protect you and has no sense of time. This is the nature of trauma.

Our minds become frozen in time over an unpleasant event. Trauma is epidemic. If you have lived, you have experienced trauma.

What can we do to become unstuck. Find trauma support groups, trauma therapy, writing, meditation. Do whatever needs to be done to heal. There is no one way, or right way, there is only your way to heal. Push through the fear just for a little while and begin your healing journey. You are worth it.

Thoughtful Thursdays #102 Trauma

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“Trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories.” (Harvey, 1990) Adapted from Bremner & Marmer, 1998, Copyright 2007 Dr. Fisher

Trauma comes in many forms. Violence of any kind, addictions in both the user and observer, unavailable caregivers, isolation, and poverty are just a few ways of experiencing trauma.

Trauma is toxic mentally and physically because it stops you from maturing and living a full life.  The symptoms of trauma are depression, irritability, loss of interest, numbing, decreased concentration, insomnia, emotional overwhelm, hopelessness, shame and worthlessness, little or no memories, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, mistrust, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, headaches, substance abuse, eating disorders, feeling unreal and out-of-body, self-destructive, loss of a sense of “Who I am”.

That’s a lot of information and possible triggers but they are symptoms of something that holds you back. Trauma effects everything you do with and without your awareness.

To heal from trauma is obvious. Find a trauma therapist. There are tons of information available to read and passionate therapists who want to help you heal.

If you realize you have been a victim that’s good. You will move from victim to survivor to one who thrives to a warrior.

You are strong, reach out and heal.

Waking Up

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Waking up to who we are is too important to ignore.

In Buddhism and psychology there is a method of healing that is easy in theory but difficult to do, unless you have trust.

I recently had some recurring flashbacks from the past. These feelings were a mystery that I have had since I was a child. My body felt like it was stinging. My mind was racing with desperation and longing, unidentifiable restlessness. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was such a familiar feeling full of pain, hot tears and wanting an end to the pain.

I got still and trusted myself enough to be quiet and detached.

I let my mind go to that dark place where these feelings began and I had  a revelation that the feelings I relived were of abandonment. On a gut level I knew I was revisiting trauma from the past in what seems to be many years ago and almost an eternity ago. The memories flooded my mind. All the poor decisions based on my abandonment issues saturated my being. I understood how abandonment effected me. How abandonment was pervasive. I was not sad, just relived. I was fortunate enough to trust myself to sit with the feelings without running away from them.

Not running away from my feelings was the perfect way to get through the things that were holding me back on a very deep level.

Conclusion: Trust your mind it knows what it needs to heal.

 

 

 

Music Is Healing

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There is a ton of information out there about how the power of music is healing. Music has had a healing effect on me too. When I started meditation I listened to groups like Bliss and Carmen Warringtons meditation music. My favorite listening music is Jazz. Each has it’s place and I have been touched and healed by music in amazing ways.

Here’s my take in the subject.

1. Rythum is primal. The beat of a drum can be hypnotic or wild. Depending on the movement emotions can be intense or calm.

2.Tone is the rate of vibration of a sound. Tone has an effect physically and psychological effect on our being. Tone has the invisable effect that words can’t touch.

3. Melody is a group of notes put together to form a score. A melody can produce emotions, inspire imagination , bring up urges, effect our bodies and its functions.

Everyone listens to music and is influenced by it.

What most people don’t realize is that music touchs a higher level consciousness that is beyond worldly concerns.

It’s the times when you hear a song or hear lyrics that resonate in a place in your being that has no words. You could feel elation or serious sadness, love, empowerment, peace or centeredness.

Music has been called forth to be the language of the gods. It’s the language of the heavens and the universal language of the earth.

Musical sound is on the level of thoughts. Incognito but felt. Sound is the bases of the universe. There is sound everywhere whether you are conscious of it or not.

You have a choice to pay attention or ignore what sounds are effecting you.

In the store, in your place of worship, dance, in nature, on a seaside, on your radio, anywhere. Classical, Jazz, Tribal, Popular, Ethnic and many more.

Music is there just listen.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays # 73 – Emotional Pain

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What ever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because any attempt to escape is what creates more pain.

From the Tibeten Book of Living and Dying.

I saw a short video with Dr. Gabor Mate and he mentioned this quote and it brings to mind how true it is.

We cannot cleanse what we ingnore, or run away from. It is most difficult to face pain alone. There is no way to bite the bullet or buckle down. The easiest and fastest way to heal is not in isolation. It is with other people, those who are interested in your well being. Whether it be a trusted friend or therapist – compassion is the catalyst. The healer. It is compassionate to take an interest in your own life. There are plenty of others who want you to heal too.

Find them, they are looking for you too.

Eckhart Tolle

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“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”

Eckhart Tolle

Thoughful Thursdays #65

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Healing

Healing is different things to different people. What I am about to say here is my experience of healing. Please indulge me.

1. Healing is not a linear process. There are many ups and downs.

2. Healing never ends but it does stop for very short or very long periods of time.

3. Healing does not come from other people unless they are pressing your buttons. That is an important clue of what you have to look at in yourself.

4, Healing can just out at you  many forms. Like reading books, relationships, paying attention to what is going on.

5, Healing can come from a crisis or deep insight.

6, Healing can come from very loud places and quiet places.

7. Healing is your ongoing job.

8, Healing speaks to you from your intitution.

9. Healing can be scary because you may not want to hear the route you need to take.

10. Healing can be postponed but will resurface when you least expect it.

Hope that helps.  Happy Healing!

The Narcissistic Mother’s Game by Richard Zwolinski, from: http://blogs.psychcentral.com

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The Narcissistic Mother’s Game
By RICHARD ZWOLINSKI, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. ZWOLINSKI

Dear Therapy Soup Reader,

A woman in recovery from PTSD found that learning about her mother’s belated diagnosis of Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorders freed her from much of her life-long guilt and shame. We’re sharing some of her thoughts she wrote down for you (with a bit of our editing).

Have you had a bizarre history of an on-again, off-again relationship with your mother who makes it truly impossible for you to maintain any self-respect because she uses and maybe abuses you? Even if you’re the kind of person who believes that both people in relationships need to take responsibility, it really may not be your fault. See if any of my questions resonate with you.

Does your mother ask how you are (and barely listens to you) just to get your stuff out of the way so she can talk about herself?

Do you feel a strange disconnect from her/with her?

If you have a cold, does she have the flu? If you dented the car was she in a six car pileup? If you got promoted did she get an Emmy? If you’re having a baby, did she invent a cure for botulism?

Does your mother seem phony or overly dramatic?

Do people who’ve never seen the two of you together find her charming?

Does you mother try to get your friends, spouse, associates to collude with her against you? Do the people in your life now “get it” and don’t find her charming any more?

Does your mother give your friends, her friends, doctors, even strangers, inappropriately expensive gifts and give you her hand-me-downs?

If you reject something she does she have hysterics, crying about how cruel and thoughtless you are and how she tried do hard to do good?

Did your mother ignore you as a child to the point where she would “forget” to buy you clothes, pick you up from activities, or feed you?

Does she say really hurtful things to you that land just under the radar—viciously cruel (perhaps even evil), but virtually no one else but you understands that it these are intentional put-downs? Does she generally do this when there are no witnesses or when there are witnesses that are “on her side”? Does she sometimes do it in front of your friends or spouse in order to gauge their reaction and see if they’ll align with her?

Does your mother deny your memories of events, even denying physical abuse? Does she employ several tactics to invalidate your memories, including dismissal of the importance of the memory, denial that the event occurred, breaking into hysterics and histrionics that effectively shut down all rational discussion, etc?

Does she “set you up”, promising you the moon (her love, a vacation together, a gift, a joint therapy session, a new car), reel you in with the bait, and then say that you misinterpreted what she meant and that none of that was going to really happen?

Did your mother leave you in dangerous situations—outside in storms, at home alone with known abusers, locked in basements, etc., when you were a child?

Did your mother ever take you shopping as a child and ask you to pick out your favorite stuffed animal or toy, then buy it, wrap it up with bows, and give it to the neighbor’s kid, watching closely to see (and enjoy) your pained surprise?

Does your mother almost always lie, even when it would be in her best interests or simply easier to tell the truth?

Does your mother usually forget your birthday or send you a wildly inappropriate and unwanted gift?

Did your mother ever move and not tell you her address for a while, a week, a month, years?

Did your mother indulge her every whim and fantasy, having the house feng shuied, getting in-home massages, buying expensive antiques, jetting to Europe to get her hair cut, but felt it it unnecessary to buy you clothes, shoes, books, toys or other basic things a child usually gets?

Is everything always about her?

Does she blame everyone else for anything and everything and never, ever takes responsibility for the emotional (and sometimes physical) wreckage she leaves in her tracks?

Did your mother ever try to get you kicked out of college, a job, a group? Did your mother ever get you fired from a job?

Did your mother ever come to your elementary/middle/high school/college/performance and laugh at you or pretend she didn’t know you? Did she tell other performers (and their parents) how wonderful their performance was, but say nothing about your performance or talk about you dismissively?

Did you ever run into your mother’s arms as a toddler, only to be pushed away in disgust?

Do therapists not believe you, until you show them letters and emails from from your mother or they get the chance to meet her?

Did your mother triangulate the family, demanding that her parents, your aunt, your cousins not have contact with you because it “upset” her? Did she do the same with your siblings? Does she create a web of lies and manipulate circumstances to keep people separate so they don’t figure out what’s going on?

Did your mother shower “love” and overwhelming attention on one sibling and turn the others into the scapegoat?

If your answers are “yes, repeatedly” to more than a couple of these questions, your mother might have narcissistic personality disorder and/or histrionic personality disorder ( she also may be struggling with some painful traits of borderline personality disorder or have traits of sadistic personality disorder* or maybe even anti-social personality disorder or a combination of these).

You may feel blind with rage and at other times that life just isn’t worth living. In some cases fathers can be enablers or were abusers, too. It can be hard because sometimes people who hear a story like this, even therapists, and they either don’t believe it or think you are exaggerating.

When you have a mother (or father or other caregiver) like this, your sense of reality is never really sure. That’s why I call it a game. And it is a game to someone with Narcissistic or Histrionic PD. The game is “Me Against the World”. The goal is to get everyone to watch me, need me, focus on me, be kept off-balance by me, be controlled by me, be destroyed by me.

In a way, mother is like a black-hole, empty as eternity. She is also a vacuum (yes, nature abhors a vacuum and mother’s constantly trying to be filled). But I also pity her—more than that, actually. I feel such sorrow for her suffering, because I believe she must be suffering. And I see glimmers of hope. Sometimes, I sense a pause in her emptiness as if her soul is trying to infiltrate the emptiness. Sometimes I sense genuineness. These moments are precious to me and I try to encourage them now that I am strong enough to not feel the arrows she slings at me.

What really helped the daughter, above, on her healing journey was information and meeting others who’d been through what she had been through:

About NPD here at PsychCentral

About HPD here at PsychCentral

About Personality Disorders here at PsychCentral

A brief video about how parents with NPD often divorce, and how their children can be victims of abuse, parental alienation syndrome, and suffer from mental illness and/or addiction, co-dependency and personality disorders including NPD, HPD, BPD, and other problems.

We love these brief YouTube videos by Toronto therapist Victoria Lorient-Faibish. She really addresses so many of the problems that people with parents who have PDs face, including co-dependency and parental alienation syndrome.

Note: Yes, of course a father could also have one or more personality disorders. Some personality disorders are more prevalent in males, some in females but in no way is this post aligning with bias or prejudice. Please remember that we are sharing a specific person’s story at her request and we did not choose the sex of the people involved.

*The diagnosis of sadistic personality disorder is no longer in the DSM and the upcoming DSM is apparently going to eliminate more personality disorders. However, the umbrella “personality disorder not defined” might still be used when multiple traits from more than one personality disorder are found.

Thoughful Thursdays # 64 – Going Underneath the Recesses Of My Mind

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A few weeks ago I wrote about suicide. It was before the Robin Williams incident. And I got a lot of people concerned with my mental health. Here is an explaintion and update on how I am feeling.

There were a series of events that ticked off my codependancy and abandonment issues so I spiraled down that slippery slope of despair. Only this time it was so painful that past memories surfaced. Hence the feeling of annilation.

Update………

Sometimes I have to allow myself to hit bottom emotionally because it is the only way up and out. I must allow myself to feel suicidal, sad, lonely, awful, cry, and scream, abandoned, needy, out of control and insane to the point of losing control.

When my ego is done yacking away with all this pain, I can feel the difference between my ego screaming and what is heart felt and realistic, instinctual and right. This is where time stops and as silly as it might sound I start to feel really lucky to be able to come up from the depths of emotional hell and be thankful for a roof over my head, my health, people I care about, talking, smiling, laughing etc.

My ego perceived lots of unrealistic things as a threat like it will die or is losing something. Those are just fears from the past rearing its ugly head and creating resistance. My ego will fight back, that is it’s nature. But eventually weakens because my ego needs to rest and then turns to being cooperative with healing and health. My ego must cooperate with expression and evolution of the self, it has no choice.

When my ego is open, raw and down it doesn’t see the options that are present. This gives me the reason to sit and go down the slope of despair.

Here is my secret……..This is where I just sit and feel everything. Let my mind wander to all the possible outcomes good and bad. I am not going to kid you it is hard to do this. It feels like no control at all. It is going into the unknown. Will I lose my mind or won’t I. I battle with reaching out for something to relieve being uncomfortable. I want the cigarette, drink, drug, person to distract me, the internet anything to stop the pain. But I must not, I must sit and feel no matter how long it takes. Going down to the bottomless pit of hopelessness. Eventually the desperation stops. I am spent, exhausted and heavy.

From here it is up. The feeling of empowerment takes over and the best therapy abounds. My own form of therapy. There is feeling of openness where answers come from. It is a form of meditation. I accept things for what they are. Here is the miracle: I can slowly move in a new direction. Still in pain I can still move ahead. Lick my wounds and heal.

I will say this: don’t listen or act on the ego it loves drama and pain. Listen and act on the positive, it loves moving like lava from out of the mountain of despair. Burning away illusions and reveals the truth of the situation. My truth and your truth. The positive wrenches through the illusion of despair and hopelessness. There is no such thing as helplessness really because it is all in the mind. But the ego does not realize this. The ego refuses to believe in possibilities. It believes in fear.

My heart must speak to the ego like a baby and encourage it to cooperate because my heart knows how to hold the hand of the screaming ego child lovingly and wholly. So does your heart. If you listen.

Peace, all is as it should be.

Into the Light ——————Here we go again.

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Out of the darkness into the light

let the love for us shine bright

we are bound to each other
from this night

As the heat of fire

The coolness of the sea

we are bound to each other

just you and me.

Be my sweetness,
be my destiny,
be my loving kindness,
be my heat, my healing, my longing, my fire
my sea, my joy, my pain,
be my demon just loving me.

I will be your lightness,
I will be your savior ,
I will be on your side,
I will love you forever more
I will struggle with you
and struggle for you
I will be your savagery.

No two alike has gained like this
no two as us are likely to miss
the life of darkness of shadows and light
we are the two that will shine so bright.

As the world may see and not understand
how two strange creatures can take a stand
in a life that is hard
and weakness prevails

it is our journey and
belongs to no one else
where ever we land
we will have each other
through valley and glen
to forge forward together
hand in hand.

g.piazza