Tag Archives: truth

Thoughtful Thursday – #220 – Finding The Truth

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When I was sixteen years old it occurred to me that something was terribly wrong with my family interactions. This was the beginning of my long journey, or should I say my lifelong journey of finding the truth. This journey has been very hard at times but the more truth that was uncovered the healthier and happier I became.

Finding the truth unveiled lots of information that helped me understand the dysfunctional dynamics that were going on and where I was placed within that strange puzzle.

I am still unraveling the trauma all these years later. And I am not at all disturbed by this. As hard as it is to know the sick truths of the horrible treatment I incurred, I will never stop looking for the truth.

On the bright side, the more I know about me the more I know about others. The side effect of finding the truth of human behavior is the ability to know others and that is priceless.

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Thoughtful Thursday #210 – Building Self Esteem

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In the process of self discovery we might find some cringe worthy stuff we have done. How could have I done such a stupid thing we say? I wasted my life. What have I done?

It’s OK, we have all been there. Self discovery is the path to self-esteem. What we have done in the past is over and I am sure we learned from those mistakes and moved on.

Along the voyage of self discovery we need to see how we came to do those actions. Once we know what has influenced us we can make changes in a more positive direction. We can look at what works and what does not work.

It is never too late to unlearn those silly things we thought were OK. Choose to live in your own authenticity and this will build your self-esteem. You will be so proud of yourself.

Go ahead puff that chest out and hold your head up high, you are wonderful.

 

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays #219 – Talking To Yourself

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What is your inner dialogue like? Do you say harsh things to yourself like : boy are you stupid, you can’t do anything right, you are so slow, what’s wrong with you, you will never fit in, you are fat, you’ll never be attractive.

These words you say to yourself are just as damaging as if someone actually said them to you. We can speculate where we learned to talk to ourselves like this but truthfully you are in control now.

The habit of talking to yourself negatively does not go away quickly. If you can say one positive statement to yourself in a day you will be on your way to being kind and compassionate to yourself.

It’s very hard to be a positive contributing human if we are secretly harboring self hate. Work up to more and more positive self talk and you will see a difference in your external world too.

Just in case you didn’t hear it today, you are doing a great job in all your efforts.

Thoughtful Thursday #217 – Bullying

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No one wants to be bullied and as we know the objective is to oppress, torment, intimidate and browbeat someone into submission.

Bullying is easily recognized if we are observing it in real-time. But do we recognize bullying when we do it to ourselves? Probably not, here are some signals you are bullying yourself.

  1. your inner critic has a field day beating you up by noticing everything that you do wrong.
  2. your inner critic says unkind, mean things to you.
  3. some believe that the inner critic is a motivator to do better, this is completely false.
  4. anxiety, image issues, social anxiety can be the inner critic hounding you with negativity.
  5. watching TV shows that are violent and traumatize you with fear. (I binge watch crime shows.)

You can’t completely get rid of the inner critic however you can arrest its relentlessness and power with a these few tips.

  1. pay attention to your thoughts.
  2. don’t beat yourself up about these thoughts.
  3. notice what your triggers are.
  4. respond to yourself with kindness.
  5. speak to yourself with compassion.
  6. turn off your TV for a while and limit the shows that are violent. (I’m watching more happy programs.)
  7. redirect your thoughts and actions to something happy.

Being mindful, kind and compassionate to yourself is an important skill to learn and takes some time.

Instead, you want caring, reassuring, encouraging and supportive words and actions towards yourself.

You are so worth the time and effort.

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.

Thoughtful Thursday #216 – Reparenting Yourself

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You grew up in a dysfunctional family, your self esteem is shot, your squirming over an embarrassing action, you want to disappear, you feel rejected at every turn. Sounds like your hurt inner child is expressing itself.

Then you probably need to reparent yourself.

Many of us have grown up in chaos, we have no recollection of who our true self is. That is OK. Of course you don’t know who you are in your core, it is impossible to know if you grew up with chaos and confusion. This is where you can learn to be your own best parent.

Will it be easy, probably not, your tip is the child within feels your feelings, the hurt child within acts those feeling out inappropriately. Here is where reparenting comes in. If you can give space to those trapped feelings, both good and bad, your parent self can step in and stop any extreme behavior, or at least give a time out.

There is much written about reparenting, here are a few resources:

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Strengthening My Recovery (Book)

Alcoholics Anonymous

Taming Your Outer Child (Book)

How to Reparent Yourself (Youtube video)

Google “Reparenting Yourself”

https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/inner-child-healing (Website)

beatingtrauma.com (website of Elisabeth Corey, trauma survivor and life coach)

http://pete-walker.com (Therapist and trauma survivor)

You are worth the effort and can bear the temporary, uncomfortable feelings of doing this important inner work. Give it a try.

 

 

 

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

Grounding And Unsettled Thinking

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To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.

Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.

We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.

Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:

  1. focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
  2. paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
  3. coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
  4. meditation, quiet time, reflection.
  5. do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
  6. write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
  7. listen to music, any music that you like.
  8. take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
  9. take a different action, redirect your actions.
  10. exercise, any exercise is better than none.

Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion  is stored.

Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.

By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.

 

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.

 

Mental Disorder and Mental Health Problem

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Mental Health Disorder is an illness that is diagnosable. The illness affects a person’s thinking, emotional state and behavior and disrupts their lives. Examples are depression and anxiety which is common and the not so common schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which can lead to a disability.

Mental Health Problem is a much broader term that included both mental health disorders and symptoms of mental disorders that may not be  severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of a mental disorder.

Slang terms used for mental health issues are crazy, psycho, mad, loony, nuts, cracked up and wacko. None of these terms are helpful for give much information on the subject.

Helpful Resources for your mental health and if you are assisting others.

National Institute of Mental Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov

World Health Organization – http://www.who.int/topics/global_burden_of_disease/en/

 

 

From: Chapter 1 of Mental Health First Aid USA ISBN:978-00692-60748-0