Tag Archives: truth

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.

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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

 

Resistance

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Resistance is something I live with every day. It’s like a chronic illness. For me resistance keeps me from doing the things that I really want to do. The things I know are really good for me. I have created an inner barrier that sabotages my own efforts. Why does this happen?

There are many reasons all of us live with resistance here are a few.

Fear, maybe be don’t want to know the truth or are fearful of become uncomfortable with self-knowledge. Fear of the unknown, not realizing the need for a change, maintaining an old habit. Those are just a few reasons.

Resistance is part of the human condition. No one really likes change or makes changes quickly.

Rather, resistance to change can disappear in a very natural way.  Examining ourselves is a deep way will cause change to happen painlessly, automatically, organically. Uncovering, unblending, undoing what we have always done is the catalyst for positive, dramatic change in tiny steps.

Take the time to objectively look at your own beliefs and actions. Why are you believing those beliefs, why are you taking those actions. Are these beliefs learned somewhere along your life or are they your own? Are the actions you are taking in your comfort zone, why?

Ask these questions in a non judgmental way so your inner life trusts you to reveal the information you need.

Examining resistance is a life long self-care action. You are meant to progress not stand still.

Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Signs of a Bad Therapist or Counseling

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From Goodtherapy.org

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/warning-signs-of-bad-therapy/

  1. Counselor does not have sufficient and specific training to address your issues and/or attempts to treat problems outside the scope of the practice.
  2. Therapist is not interested in the changes you want to make and your goals for therapy.
  3. Counselor cannot or does not clearly define how they can help you to solve whatever issue or concern has brought you to therapy.
  4. Therapist provides no explanation of how you will know when your therapy is complete.
  5. Counselor does not seek consultation with other therapists.
  6. Therapist makes guarantees and/or promises.
  7. Therapist has unresolved complaints filed with a licensing board.
  8. Therapist does not provide you with information about your rights as a client, confidentiality, office policies, and fees so you can fairly consent to your treatment. Note: The requirement for information provided to new clients by therapists differs by state and licensure requirements.
  9. Counselor is judgmental or critical of your behavior, lifestyle, or problems.
  10. Therapist “looks down” at you or treats you as inferior in subtle or not so subtle ways.
  11. Counselor blames your family, friends, or partner.
  12. Counselor encourages you to blame your family, friends, or partner.
  13. Therapist knowingly or unknowingly gets personal psychological needs met at the expense of focusing on you and your therapy.
  14. Counselor tries to be your friend.
  15. Therapist initiates touch (i.e., hugs) without consent.
  16. Counselor attempts to have a sexual or romantic relationship with you.
  17. Therapist talks excessively about personal issues and/or self-discloses often without any therapeutic purpose.
  18. Counselor tries to enlist your help with something not related to your therapy.
  19. Therapist discloses your identifying information without authorization or mandate.
  20. Counselor tells you the identities of other clients.
  21. Therapist discloses they have never done personal therapy work.
  22. Counselor cannot accept feedback or admit mistakes.
  23. Therapist focuses extensively on diagnosing without also helping you to change.
  24. Counselor talks too much.
  25. Therapist does not talk at all.
  26. Counselor often speaks in complex “psychobabble” that leaves you confused.
  27. Therapist focuses on thoughts and cognition at the exclusion of feelings and somatic experience.
  28. Counselor focuses on feelings and somatic experience at the exclusion of thoughts, insight, and cognitive processing.
  29. Therapist acts as if they have the answers or solutions to everything and spends time telling you how to best fix or change things.
  30. Counselor tells you what to do, makes decisions for you, or gives frequent unsolicited advice.
  31. Therapist encourages your dependency by allowing you to get your emotional needs met from the therapist. Therapist “feeds you fish, rather than helping you to fish for yourself.”
  32. Counselor tries to keep you in therapy against your will.

  33. Therapist believes that only the therapist’s counseling approach works and ridicules other approaches to therapy.
  34. Therapist is contentious with you or frequently confrontational.
  35. Counselor doesn’t remember your name and/or doesn’t remember your interactions from one session to the next.
  36. Therapist does not pay attention or appear to be listening and understanding you.
  37. Counselor answers the phone during your session.
  38. Therapist is not sensitive to your culture or religion.
  39. Counselor denies or ignores the importance of your spirituality.
  40. Therapist tries to push spirituality or religion on to you.
  41. Counselor does not empathize.
  42. Therapist empathizes too much.
  43. Counselor seems overwhelmed with your problems.
  44. Therapist seems overly emotional, affected, or triggered by your feelings or issues.
  45. Counselor pushes you into highly vulnerable feelings or memories against your wishes.
  46. Therapist avoids exploring any of your emotional or vulnerable feelings.
  47. Counselor does not ask your permission to use various psychotherapeutic techniques.
  48. Therapist tries to get you to exert overt control over your impulses, compulsions, or addictions without helping you to appreciate and resolve the underlying causes.
  49. Counselor prematurely and/or exclusively focuses on helping you to appreciate and resolve the underlying causes of an issue or compulsion when you would instead benefit more from learning coping skills to manage your impulses.
  50. Your counselor habitually misses, cancels, or shows up late to appointments.

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.