Category Archives: PTSD

Hemingway Quote of the Day 06APR 2014 ~ Trust

Ernest Hemingway
Cover of Ernest Hemingway

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them”

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway's house- Key West, FL
Ernest Hemingway’s house- Key West, FL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mindful Quote of the Day 27MAR 2014 ~ Groundlessness

Ani Pema Chödrön
Ani Pema Chödrön (Photo credit: albill)

Underneath our ordinary lives, underneath all the talking we do, all the moving we do, all the thoughts in our minds, there’s a fundamental groundlessness. It’s there bubbling along all the time. We experience it as restlessness and edginess. We experience it as fear. It motivates passion, aggression, ignorance, jealousy, and pride, but we never get down to the essence of it. – Pema Chodron

"Even if we're alone, our yawns and farts...
“Even if we’re alone, our yawns and farts communicate.” – Pema Chödrön #Buddhist #LOL #Books #Text (Photo credit: Logan Donahoo)

Happiness Quote of the Day 21 March 2014 – Mental Habits

Thich Nhat Hanh
Cover of Thich Nhat Hanh

We have negative mental habits that come up over and over again. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future. Perhaps we got this from our parents. Carried away by our worries, we’re unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can’t really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these “conditions of happiness” we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep. We may have fears about the future because we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh Feelings come and go likes clo...
Thich Nhat Hanh Feelings come and go likes clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor (Photo credit: symphony of love)

Anonymous Quote of the Day 14 March 2014 ~ I Am Safe

I am safe and I am loved

I am safe and I love

I am safe and I love it

I am safe

i AM safe

i am SAFE

Safe-door
Safe-door (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marc’s Mindful Thought of the Day 10Mar 2014 ~ Compassion

compassion hearts
compassion hearts (Photo credit: DanLacher)

Cultivation of compassion is not something you can just snap your fingers and obtain. Being compassionate towards others is something that has to come from mindfulness.

Mindfulness keeps you in the present moment with focus on only the current moment. Avoiding negative thoughts and focusing attention only on the present moment, not what will happen tomorrow or next month or what happened in the past. Making no assumption about the future, recognizing and stopping instinctive or habitual reactions to stressful situations in life is a prerequisite to obtaining mindfulness..

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness t...
Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness techniques can help alleviate anxiety , stress , and depression (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not reasonable to claim you are a compassionate individual while at the same time putting your compassion on your calendar. Compassion on only certain days of the week and the other days you are a vicious, sadistic person with a nickname “hyppocrates” by causing stress, pain and suffering to others and having no concern about it while creating an illusion of compassion. This turns you into a hypocritical, diabolical monster.

Mindfulness comes from the ability to breath and focus on the present moment. If your mind wanders to some other place or time, being able to recognize this wandering and where your mind has wandered off to is key to mindfulness. Recognition of the reaction you are experiencing is necessary to return to breathing and focusing on each breath and not negative or painful thought, anticipation of something not necessarily real, such as what occurs with a phobia.

That’s all I have for you this morning. It time to breath and to focus in the moment.

Marc Gilbert-Widmann (March 10, 2014)

mind·ful·ness
?m?ndf?ln?s/noun
 
  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

 

The Changing Face of my Dreams – 24 February 2014

I don’t mean to be a tease, but the meat of this writing is under Thoreau…

English: Henry David Thoreau, photograph taken...
English: Henry David Thoreau, photograph taken in August 1861 and published circa 1879, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly right. Edited image from Library of Congress item LC-USZ61-361 (b&w film copy neg.). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David T...
1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David Thoreau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things do not change, we do.”

w11 - Henry David Thoreau
w11 – Henry David Thoreau (Photo credit: Sweet Dreamz Design)

“Be not simply good, be good for something.”

English: Signature of author Henry David Thoreau
English: Signature of author Henry David Thoreau (Photo credit: Wikipedia– Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

And now I present my dream…

Monday, 24th of February, 6:02AM… I awaken. I had a dream and in this dream, I got there. I got there… I reached the promised land. I don’t know how I got there. I don’t even know where it was… but I got there with nothing but the coat on my back. No bag, no wallet, no money, no ID, no phone, no pills, no computer… off the grid, if there was one where I was… no nothing. No running… no airport… I was not trying to get somewhere or away from something, including myself. I just was there.

This was not a night terror. I knew no one. I was all alone, but in a crowd… which in and of itself is not disturbing. I’m used to being alone. I always traveled alone… particularly when no one knew I was leaving the country. In reality, I never traveled with anything or so much it needed to be checked… I had no baggage when traveling, just a backpack and purposeful tactical clothing with more than 70 pockets. In this dream, I made it with nothing and remember not much but walking around in circles (so to speak)… following the flow of people, wondering what I was going to do. Thinking that whenever i get home from wherever I am I will still have nothing. I had a coat and that’s all.

More than one month of half the normal dose of that which kept the monsters from my dreams… prevented the terrors, the sweats, the panics. The intended dose reduction to bring my dreams closer than the last fifteen seconds that I could remember under the influence of a good sleeper pill. I’m different now. I’ve evolved. I’ve experienced personal and spiritual growth that I never had an opportunity to explore up to this point in my life. If last night means anything, I hope that it is that my night terrors are gone forever.

That which haunted me my entire life is no longer so haunting and not much more than an ever more distant memory. In this dream, there was a huge building and I don’t know what it was, but all others were moving towards it and going into it… and I couldn’t go into it because I had a coat. I had nothing, yet I had too much. My intended migration towards minimalism during consciousness has moved from reality to a dream. My baggage is gone. It’s been wide open for all to see into for about four years now… but now, the baggage isn’t just open… it’s gone.

This was no requiem. It was dream. I had a real dream. Am I reborn? At the point I told someone IN my dream what was happening to me… with nothing… not knowing if it was lost… gone forever… I awakened and left my bedroom to look at the clock and the time. 6:02AM

 

 

Quote of the Week 09FEB 2014 – Healing

Sexually Abused child.
Sexually Abused child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Survivors who have actively faced their healing are some of the  most lively, spunky, brave, fun, wonderful people I know. There’s something about diving into the deepest pain in life and coming out whole, that leads us to enjoy each precious moment in life, because we know it’s all we’ve got. Instead of responding to the pain of the past, survivors learn to appreciate the wild beauty of the present.”

Laura DavisAllies in Healing: When the Person You Love is a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

 

 

English: Conceptual diagram showing relationsh...
English: Conceptual diagram showing relationship between adult sexual interest in children, pedophilia, and child sexual abuse. These distinct concepts overlap, but academics and clinicians consider them separate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Narcissist Q/A – Friday the 13th – What Compels People to Take Advantage of Others?

QUESTION: What Compels People to Take Advantage of Others? I don’t understand.

ANSWER: The easy answer… people are bullies and sometimes people allow themselves to be taken advantage of for fear of loss.

Narcissus
Narcissus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The complicated answer… Some people (narcissists) feel they are better, superior, in a different class and while it may manifest in many ways, such as fame, wealth, power, etc, the fact remains that whatever they do achieve in life is never enough, if they are not at the top of the heap.

Most will lie, cheat and steal without thought other than the risk and penalty of being caught albeit in business or personal life. They want/need your compliments, admiration, attention along with their power and material things. These people leave you powerless, exhausted and drained. They have a total lack of empathy for others, particularly family and friends.

This lack of empathy allows them to take advantage of those closest to them to get their own “desires” met… regardless of the pain or hurt it causes someone else. Sensitive people are most often directly targeted because the narcissist will take advantage of compassion you’ve managed to cultivate over years of life and experience.

English: Picture of myself, I am a narcissist....
English: Picture of myself, I am a narcissist. For use on userpages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s almost impossible to completely avoid narcissists and there are things you can do to protect yourself from those who think of themselves as masters of deception.

The narcissist will groom you in the same manner a sexual predator does. The narcissist knows what you want and need emotionally. The narcissist knows how to make you feel good as part of their confidence scheme. They know how to say the right things at the right times particularly with insincere compliments. You can’t fix them and it’s not your job to do so.

Stop, think… act. Protect your heart. Don’t be afraid to turn around and exit the closest door and walk away. Don’t forget to lock the door behind you… from the outside, so you can’t be followed.

You have to know who you are and what you want. STOP the vampire in it’s tracks.

This question is directly related to PTSD threat assessments and hyper-vigilance…

PTSD Therapist Number Three – A New Beginning

I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I had no expectations. I knew I didn’t want to go back… all the way back. I had hoped that it could be the way it was with PTSD therapist number two… Indirectly going back… creating that timeline of events in my life. Creating family tree(s). It didn’t hurt as much the second time. Some memories can still invoke emotion, but not like the first time I opened my mouth after thirty plus years.

English: signs and symptoms ptsd
English: signs and symptoms ptsd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patrick was two minutes late… I was outside until 9:02… I was just about to go humm… and he looked outside for me.

So I sit down and realize Patrick’s office is easily three times the size of Wade’s office or Eva’s office… even three times larger than my prescribing psychiatrist… all in the same building. Is there any relevance to that?

So Patrick starts… how are you? I said “fine”… and then I took initial control and said, “I’m used to starting with if I’ve had any dreams.” so we went there.

Dreams are complicated for me. In order to stop the night terrors I’ve had my whole life going back as long as I can remember, I went through an extended period of adjustments with combinations of psych meds that would let me sleep and without being held inside, unable to escape. The night terrors ended at 2mg clonazapam and 150mg of lamotrigene as a mood enhancer and slow sleeper taken about an hour before sleep. The clonazapam “can” knock me out on demand… so those go in <30mins from sleep… or even right before I lay down to sleep. At this combination I get rest, I know I dream… everyone does… but all I ever remember now is the last 5-10 seconds before waking up. And they aren’t terrors. I accept that lack of memory and detail for the opportunity to sleep without night terror

We went to the night terror(s)… or more specfically the one from last week… How I no longer have them every night… maybe twice in the last year. But this one was intense and a little different. They have always morphed into something surrounding air travel.

When I was a child, having UN-childlike things done to me, I used to be able to go out of body into third person… I would have a mental escape from traumatic experiences. I’d be right there watching… but not feeling. I could fly… really I could. I was good at it and could fly on demand… flutter my feet, wave my arms and fly to get out of my skin, while my epidermis was used for influence, pleasure, power and money. But the thing is… I suppose the child brain doesn’t comprehend that you can’t fly. I now know that I was there the whole time. I understand that, at least consciously.

Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission...
Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission specialist, anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2, participates in the mission’s third session of extravehicular activity (EVA). The blackness of space and Earth’s horizon form the backdrop for the image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)In early adulthood, I suppose my consciousness understood I couldn’t fly. My compensation for that was real flight. Inside the flying tube with wings and my own designated space, I was free. I was free. I could fly. but I knew it had to do with aeronautics… thrust, lift, drag… math… numbers.

I even became a sort of daredevil… back in the day when jumping for a beginner did not include a tandem jump. You just had a static line and off you went. I remember the first time I jumped… it was… maybe 1983 or 1982. I already knew I couldn’t fly… but fuck if I couldn’t establish a glide path back down to my feet (sometimes). The first one was the only scary one… I was first in line at I believe 3000 ft… I remember hearing: ready on three… one, two and out the door I was pushed before three. I thought it was going to last forever and then… when I was on my feet, it seemed suddenly as though it was over so fast. I’d like to think that since I could exert a certain level of control on descent… I was really flying.

As a young adult, I never boarded the flight in my dreams. I learned I couldn’t fly anymore. I would make it past security… it was easy before 9/11, but never onto an aircraft in my dreams. AND, as a young adult, I was unable to sleep or even dose on any aircraft, regardless of class of service… but I felt safe. I had my space. There were no space invaders.

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...
Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Post-traumatic stress disorder by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe I projected information in an almost matter of fact way. All that shit that I went a lifetime never saying anything about came out quickly, methodically, and almost without emotion… there was a bit of emoting in my tone, but no emotional reaction… until…

…Until I got to the part of my path to adoption at age 53. I slowed down. There were a few pauses between run-ons. It felt like the session was going long… but when it got to the point in the process of the day the judge signed the adoption decree and the image recollection of who was there… slowing down was no longer able to hide happiness expressing itself with tears. Because my wait was over. My wait ended when my mom (she was really still sUSAn then and had been for thirty years or so) said “What if I adopt you?”… and in that one instant, a lifetime of waiting for a blood relative to look out for me. To fight for me. To be a parent to me… ended. I didn’t have to wait anymore. Born again in an instant… My wait was over no matter how much I pretended it didn’t matter to me… A really big part of me healed, immediately, on that day, with five simple words…

(h)wät/ /if/ /i/ /(uh)däpt/ /yoo/

Patrick let us go until 10:10. That’s one hour, twenty minutes… There are strict rules… fifty minutes then out the door… there are people after me. So it ended with his computer forced into a hard reboot and he said I’ll call you later and we’ll work on the scheduling and he acknowledged the two days a week thing… I’m so fucking lucky to be able to get 50 minutes times two… every week.

Surviving the Return of the Night Terror

I JUST awoke from one of my haven’t seen you in awhile night terrors. I haven’t had one in six months or more. Maybe two in the last year (that I remember), but then, I have always remembered them. Used to have them every night. They are the only dreams that I remember in full. If it doesn’t involve some sort of night terror, I remember the last 5-10 seconds. This one was quite a bit more detailed. AND, it kept me hostage for at least an extra hour. I slept until after 7am.

Night of Terror
Night of Terror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never did get on that flight. I did locate my carry-on… and still had my macbook and ipad in it. I also retrieved my Scottevest fleece 7.0 but maybe only 15 or so pockets still had tactical weapons… All other pockets were empty. But why the fuck would I bring my certificate of live birth to an airport??? And why did this particular airport have no security lines or did I just not get that far???

I did not sleep on my wedge that keeps my knees and upper body elevated. I slept on my side with a pillow in between my knees and memory foam under my head… again… I have not fallen asleep in a horizontal position on a flat bed in forever.

I took my usual night terror stoppers… a slow sleeper/mood enhancer and a knock me out dosage of benzodiazapine. I think I might have been projecting someone else’s terror???

If so, this is for you…

Chorus:
Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
Everything’s going my way.