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#45523 - 02/19/03 04:08 PM how do we stop thinking about things????
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
Today i was in the car with my step-father and he told me i just needed to quit thinking about things so much..I asked him how i could stop thinking about abuse issues when i have nightmares of being raped??? Will it ever be possible for any of us to just quit thinking about the bad things???? I know i wallow in self-pity because of those memories, how do i stop doing this?????? I HAVE TO CHANGE!!!!!!!! HOW DO I GO ABOUT CHANGING???????? thank you.....michael


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#45524 - 02/19/03 07:08 PM Re: how do we stop thinking about things????
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Michealb, as a survivor, I can hear and somwhat feel the frustration and exhaustion of those intruding horrendous thoughts!!!! Two things that helped me was focusing on what I say to myself. I want to make it as accurate, specific and positive as I can (For too long I listetned to and believed the negatives).I harped on stop doing this/stop doing that which only stressed me out and I'd lose it! What I started doing was trying to focus on what I had to do...Instead of stopping this I'd look at I want to start thinking, feeling, doing anything else! Also, I found whenever I said "got to", "must" and "have to", I'd get stressed out after a while and lose it. Not "I have to change" but "I want to change" and finish the sentence with a positive direction I wanted to take. My problem was I talked negative and I believed everything I told myself over and over.

How did I change? Well I am not over changing and adjusting...that's going to take quite some time; however, when my obsessions began to invade my thinking, I made it a matter of prayer to silence my obsessions, calm myself and redirect where I wanted to go. Sometimes I would take inventory on how far I'd come in my journey, even writing it down so I could see in black & white what was happening to me. I fought to control the obsessive thoughts so "I was in control of me!" and not my perpetratorssss. I wanted myself back and measured that goal along this ideal: Is that part of my solution or part of my problem?? Problems I did not need. If they entered my thoughts - I change my thoughts to avoid them as a problem. I refused to let my abuse (as extensive and extreme as it was) to eat up my good thoughts of today; I refused to let them get a toe-hold opening up more thoughts to come...if I couldn't manage to get there, I called a trusted safe person; I went to that trusted safe person; I sought my support system to help me. Plenty of people told me "JUST LEAVE IT GO" but, they weren't me and never walked that horrible path as I did. Sometimes those who said those things to me were scared because they didn't know what to say to me and others felt "freaked out". Sorry I am so long but I wanted to share something that might help!!

By the way, try to seek the positives! Don't judge your friend too harshly! Never give in nor give up! If you keep working - step by step - it all gets done!! Sooner or later!! Good luck!! Scotty

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#45525 - 02/19/03 08:09 PM Re: how do we stop thinking about things????
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Michael

Quote:
he told me i just needed to quit thinking about things so much..
Quote:
Plenty of people told me "JUST LEAVE IT GO"
I think it's just about impossible for non survivors to appreciate the power, and the constant intrusion of the memories we have, it's not ignorance or not wanting to understand, I think it's because we don't have an adequate way to express to others the total domination of our concious thoughts that these memories and negative thoughts can have.

Only tonight I have talked to the father of a friend who's had ten years intensive therapy, and he said he couldn't begin to comprehend what his son had going through his mind. This was a very supportive and well informed parent, and he was lost for words to describe his sons trauma.
He also said to me that I was probably the only person who did understand other than our mutual therapist, and I think he's right. We understand because we know how overwhelming our thoughts can be.

What can we do to overcome them ?
Well Scotty has so many good points, we have to work bloody hard at turning them around, inch by inch.
I had to force myself to change the "what if's" to the future tense, instead of asking myself "what if I'd have told someone else" I'd force myself to think "what if I tell someone else ?"
And then I'd imagine the conversation in my head as I told a friend, I'd make up a story with a happy ending of my friend supporting me as I explained in detail what I felt.
It's dissosociation I know, but I'm good at that. I did it for years. I'd make up stories in my head about great sexual exploits - the fantasies that led to me to acting out.
I turned that 'talent' on it's head and created new fantasies about me discussing my problems with all kinds of people, sometimes even with negative people who'd try to put me down, but I was too good for them and talk them under the table - in my mind

We can control what we think, but it's hard. What we can't do is stop the initial unwanted thought springing into our heads. But I've found that as I've debated the problems, and won the debate every time, they seem to stay away more. They begin to know when they're beat.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#45526 - 02/19/03 08:28 PM Re: how do we stop thinking about things????
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
michael, hello to you and peace as well.

We are all so different that what works for one my be poison for another. I went into collecting degrees. After I have all that my bosses would pay for I did continuing ed. Next, I turned to writting for publication. Those activities took so much of my attention I was able to push the crap back aways in my consciousness.

It worked for me, but may not for you or anyone else.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#45527 - 02/19/03 09:00 PM Re: how do we stop thinking about things????
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
HI MichaelB
Brother I am where you are a lot of the time myself. I will tell you something that works for me. I do something that is purely selfish and just for myself. I have joined a fitness club and have lost 3 inches around my waist and put 2 1/2 around my chest. It feels great. I really like the feeling of exerting my body almost to exhaustion and then standing under a hot shower and letting the aches slowly leave. I was terrifed of the thought of going into a shower with a lot of other guys but you know what it does not bother me the least. I feel so clean when I am finished and my mind feels at peace. I get a lot of help from other guys too if I am using the weights wrong. I also Mountainbike in the summer and inline skate all year round. And all of this makes me feel so clean. It is as though the filth has been washed away for at least a little while. I now look forward to it every other day. If I start to regress to the what ifs, why me's etc. I become anxious to go. I am doing this for myself and my self esteem. When I was a hustler I was in top shape and the reminder of that has kept me from doing this for a long long time.
I can get myself really depressed by taking and thinking about what happened. I know that this sounds crazy but I allocate about 2 hours of every day dealing with it in my mind.
I write down all the things I like about myself. The list is getting longer. And I write down the things I dont like about myself. With this list I ask myself honestly why do I feel this way. Almost without exception it can be traced back to what happened and the feelings I kept bottled up inside. Then I try and find ways to whittle away at that last list. I am having a tough time doing it. I would be lying if I said otherwise but my motto my brother is:
Those F**kers CANNOT AND WILL NOT WIN. My father in law knows about my abuse and has the same difficult time non abused people have. It is not that we are preoccupied with it but we have lived with it for so long it is like slimy tar that just wont go away. Another thing Michael; be gentle with yourself and when you are really down acknowledge that it is ok but that it is merely another step into the light. I hope I dont sound too much like a jackass.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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