Call To Arms – Veteran Gets Real About PTSD

PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation(s).  I would be more worried if I didn’t have it!  Then, I would just be a sociopath. 

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Lessons Learned ~ About Dissociation and Good Therapy

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Why would my brain want to dig up something so tragic and force me to relive it, as though it were happening again in the present moment?  I put a lot of energy and effort into shoving the memory as far down as I could.  If my mind were a big house, with many rooms and hallways, I wandered down to the deepest depths of the basement.  I found the darkest hallway, with the darkest corner to bag the memory up and leave it in.  I wanted to keep it from ever surfacing and hurting me again.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  So what was the purpose of digging it up and reliving it?  Why would anyone purposefully do that?

Well after much thought, this is my opinion.  We humans are natural problem solvers, we do it from the day we are born.  We think, therefore we are human.  

Our brain has a natural tendency to solve and resolve whatever is happening in our lives. If it is particularly difficult, we will chew on it over and over in an attempt to grind it up small enough, so we can “swallow it and move on.”  Sometimes we put an immense amount of effort into this process, whether we want to or not.  You know how it goes.  Why can’t I stop thinking about this!  Ughh….!!!

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Dissociation ~ What Happened Next

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I left my therapist’s office and as soon as I hit the hallway, where she could not see me, tears began to flow.  Head tucked down in embarrassment, I strode quickly to the parking lot.  I wished to be invisible.  Fumbling with my keys, I unlocked the doors and jumped inside.  “Safe” inside my car, I began to sob uncontrollably.  I sobbed for two hours.  The kind of cry which makes your eyes swell, your face red and makes you feel like you cannot breathe.  I could not drive and all I wanted to do was go home.  I reached out to my husband, who thankfully came to my rescue, physically at least.

The hurt and pain of the memory swelled up inside of me.  I felt as though at times, I could not possibly contain it and I did not want to share it ever again!  Hurt cascaded into anger, then anger into shame.  I was ashamed of myself.  I must be honest and admit to you things got much worse before they ever started to get better.

You see, inside I am a gentle soul.  I am pro-life.  What I mean, is inside and out, I have a huge respect and zest for life.  For me, death and the idea of dying, has always been in my view……the greatest tragedy of living.  I have a hard time killing anything…..except spiders. My fear of the spider is great.  🙂

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When Nietzsche Wept

~You have your way.  I have my way.  As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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Magical.” –Washington Post Book World

“The best dramatization of a great thinker’s thought since Sartre’s The Freud Scenario.” –Chicago Tribune

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Into the Midst – My Experience with Dissociation

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It took me a moment to realize, the rumbling in my mind was my own heartbeat. Insistent….strong and unrelenting.  Sweat began to mist up on my skin, sliding down between my shoulder blades.  I could hear her voice, out on the edge of my awareness as though she were standing very far away.  I titled my head.  I could not see her…

something was wrong.

Suddenly the room went stark white and I was there….with him.  I could see his face, feel his disgusting touch, smell my fear mingled with his breath.  My body went rigid, as though rejecting the very idea this was happening.  Not again…I thought….please not again! I was strikingly hot, my breath was racing to catch my heartbeat.

Thud…thud…thud…. 

I wanted to run, but my legs were not working.  I needed to lash out, to get him away from me.  Yet, I was rooted as if in a nightmare, or a horror film and I was its star character. Like bait.  I felt sick….wait I think that was her voice again.  What is she saying?

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Leaning in to discomfort…

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Brené Brown – shares with us the concept of leaning in to discomfort.  Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?  So why would you do it and what are the benefits?

What does it mean to “lean into discomfort?”  Why would you do it?  What are the benefits of it?  Will it hurt?

Of course, I am not talking about leaning in to physical or emotional discomfort to the point that it causes you harm.  Rather, leaning into situations that make us uncomfortable, sometimes even highly uncomfortable.  Depending on how committed you are to “leaning in to your discomfort” it may potentially have some physical side effects. For example, it may cause anxiety and feeling anxiety may cause physical discomfort to a certain extent.  Anxiety will not kill you, but it may make you want to walk away or give up.  So that is the downside, yes?  Will it hurt?  Probably….

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Doing it or Having it – Because You Always Have

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I found myself re-thinking some of the items in my home recently, that I felt did not quite fit well anymore.  They were not really serving the same purpose, in the same way as before.  Yet I had them because I had always had them.  Then the wheels in my mind began to turn……

I was trying to “make” them work.  Fit in a space, they did not quite fit.  Some of the items were definitely worn out, but I hate throwing things away.  I feel very blessed to have the things I have in my life.  I feel blessed to be able to have afforded them.  As I grew up very poor, throwing things away simply because they were getting old or did not fit quite right, was just not an appropriate option for me!

However, I began to re-think/see this as an opportunity.

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