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#460656 - 02/13/14 06:51 PM Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate?
Landscape Offline


Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 38
My inner dialog is usually negative--shame, embarrassment, fear and anxiety. The stuff we all feel sometimes is what I feel often.

At the end of the day, I find myself analyzing every interaction looking for things that weren't perfect. I look for things I should have done, should not have done, should have said, should not have said, etc... I'm not perfect, so I can usually find something.

If I'm feeling good, I think constructive thoughts, "that was an inappropriate joke, don't use it again," or "you raised your voice a little in that meeting, lighten up," or "you shouldn't have ordered the large fries, next time get the small."

If I'm feeling stressed, I obsess over these things, and worry about them intensely for a few days. In those cases, I think things like, "that was an inappropriate joke, now everyone thinks you're an idiot," or "you raised your voice a little in that meeting, now s/he hates you, and you'll never be able to talk to that person again," or "you ordered the large fries, you're a loser who can never stick to a diet." Eventually, it goes away, and I'm ok. Until the next time.

Can you relate? What do you do to get yourself out of it when you feel like this?
_________________________
--
"And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream 'til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out"

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#460657 - 02/13/14 07:06 PM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1401
Loc: California
First, forgive yourself for being imperfect. You're only human, like the rest of humanity.

Second, know that you judge yourself FAR TOO HARSHLY!! It is one of the MAJOR symptoms of CSA. Thus, have the thoughts, but don't believe them.
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#460667 - 02/13/14 09:36 PM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1509
Loc: New England
Hey Landscape,

Its not a bad idea to take an inventory at the end of each day, taking responsibility for any wrongs and taking credit for any rights. But thats different than using it as an opportunity to beat yourself up.

At times like you describe, I tell myself that I'm just another guy. No better and no worse than anyone else. Not everyone's going to like me, but everyone does NOT hate me. I am just who I am.

Jude
_________________________
"I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real"
Van Halen

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#460674 - 02/13/14 10:34 PM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 154
Loc: Virginia
Hey Landscape,

Magellan is right. One thing many survivors have in common is that they judge themselves way too harshly. This is particularly true if you were judged harshly growing up (by parents or siblings, for example.)

Try to remind yourself each day that you're a perfectly normal human who is entitled to make mistakes. We all do. No one on this entire planet is perfect. It's always good to maintain high standards for yourself, but I know from experience how perfectionism just ends up making you stressed out and miserable.

This is a great question. Thanks for posting.

Bob
_________________________
Don't let "three steps forward and two steps back" bother you. Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#460705 - 02/14/14 06:44 AM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3321
Loc: O Kanada
i agree with gettingstronger, magellan, and jude.
be gentle, kind, and forgiving with yourself.
stop beating yourself up.
that being said...
i find it hard to stop talking to myself.

yes, i can relate.

i am my own worst critic, so i am as guilty as anyone,
but it does no good to punish yourself.
i am working hard to silence unhealthy inner dialogue,
especially when it starts to circle cycle recycle.
spinning in a spiral. with me trapped in the middle.
drowning in a whirlpool of words.
sometimes i feel like a hamster in a wheel.
i am forced to hit the brakes before something breaks.
before i become lost in a forest of crossed paths too thick with thoughts tangled.

how do i get myself out of it when i feel like this?
think happy thoughts.
practice positive affirmations.
listen to music or just sing songs.
focus and practice and prayer and discipline.


_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#460709 - 02/14/14 08:21 AM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
If I can only be perfect, it will remove this blight on my soul of sexual abuse.

Another lie from my confused and hurt inner abused child.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#460710 - 02/14/14 08:31 AM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 751
Loc: michigan
hey landscape
for sure I know what you are talking about. I remember mistakes forever, well perceived mistakes anyway. when you talk about playing back conversations etc. Man I can totally relate. its about providing that strong safe image, making sure my bubble is air tight. when T said to me early on about something "not fitting in my perfectionist box" I was pissed... it wasn't a week before I could see it myself. I always said to myself I don't need perfection, I just want it to be right. thing is as the guys have said I am learning that there is no one to judge me now... but me. I don't have to live up to anyone else's standard and I cant be whipped for not doing it right anymore. it is hard to move in that direction but you deserve it man. life is NOT a test to be passed or failed.
Jeff
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#460716 - 02/14/14 10:39 AM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: Canada
Hey Landscape, I see all good advise from those before me, so I will offer something a little different.

You describe a trait that I, as well as most people have, to some degree or another. The Inner dialogue, the story telling that goes on in our minds, the sometimes endless self criticism, our minds can be our own worst enemy at times, but how do you stop it?

I asked this question of my therapist after she described how my reactions, assessments, judgements, evaluations are all old habits, old patterns of behavior. She asked if I can recognize this, and I could.
Having acknowledged that, she suggested that when I get into that cycle of thought, stop and try to recognize and acknowledge that this is old stuff. Initiate a new dialogue where I remind myself that this is old habits, and I don't have to continue doing it.
This sentiment is also echoed by Eckhart Tolle, who I have been reading lately, although he does offer a more detailed reason why we do this. I'll leave this to you to investigate further, if you choose.

I practice this exercise whenever I can, from observing self criticism, to observing anger projected at others, and I do find that it seems to take less and less effort and time each time I take the opportunity to practice it.

My first effort in this took me a few days to acknowledge and change course. It surfaced when I viewed my trust as having been broken(trust being a rather big issue for me), I did as suggested and although the change in me was not instant, in a short time after repeatedly reminding myself that I was not under threat, that these were only thoughts, and this was an old pattern repeating itself, I found myself feeling more calm, and aware of the cycle I had just been through. I almost see the effect the thoughts have on me as that of a parasite, and the cure is becoming aware of it.

I hope you can find some help in my words.

Keep Well.
_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#460717 - 02/14/14 11:02 AM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 665
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Landscape. I know the self critical place very well, and for me it is the self destructive place, literally. I was battered and sexually abused and tortured very early, and my primitive ego self developed a self destructive posture in an effort at survival. Because my primitive experience was that any personal independent expression could result in being hurt or even possibly killed, I incorporated an ego self whose job was to please, figure out in advance what others needed/wanted and provide it, and at any cost defeat any possibility of me becoming a ME. That meant using whatever inner tactics necessary, which were always negative, eternally vigilant and obsessive.

I only began remembering paternal abuse at age 53 and maternal abuse at age 63. What substantially helped me with untangling this inner self destructiveness was a book called "The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom" by Angeles Arrien. I forget which gate, but the author says that one of the keys to enjoying the second half of life is we have to completely dismantle the ego self, or at least seriously weaken it. The ego self is our learned self, what we believe to be true based on our experiences. I had come across this notion less directly in other spiritual disciplines, but this was the first time I really got what the cd that was running my life was all about.

It is not easy to dismantle all the false information we come to believe based on our experiences, but questioning it is certainly a major step. My experience is that symbolically the right book falls off the shelf and hits me on the head if I am able to be aware.

Good luck. Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#460722 - 02/14/14 12:33 PM Re: Ruminating and obsessing - Can you relate? [Re: Landscape]
Landscape Offline


Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 38
Thank you all for your responses.

You are helping me realize how deep the story I tell myself lives, and how ingrained it is in my mind. The hard part is figuring out when when to believe myself and when I'm lying to myself.

The book suggestions are now on my list. Thank you.

Originally Posted By: Magellan
have the thoughts, but don't believe them.

Working on it, but they are so convincing. They know all my secrets and insecurities. They make a very strong argument.

Originally Posted By: Jude
Not everyone's going to like me, but everyone does NOT hate me.

I know it. I have proof of it. Now, I'm trying to believe it.

Originally Posted By: gettingstronger
This is particularly true if you were judged harshly growing up (by parents or siblings, for example.)

That hits the nail squarely on the head. Separating love for the person from hate/anger over the behavior is something I struggle with.

Originally Posted By: victor-victim
focus and practice and prayer and discipline.

Discipline. I know I feel better when I focus and meditate, but I don't always do it.

Originally Posted By: On The Fringe
Another lie from my confused and hurt inner abused child.

He has gotten me to this point. Time to pass the baton to the grown up me. I can take it from here.

Originally Posted By: newground
life is NOT a test to be passed or failed.

Love this!

Originally Posted By: Adam A Gedman
I almost see the effect the thoughts have on me as that of a parasite, and the cure is becoming aware of it.

So easy to curse the dark instead of lighting a candle. Situations are simply facts. Awareness creates options that allow for responses. Responses are where the magic happens.

Originally Posted By: don64
we have to completely dismantle the ego self, or at least seriously weaken it. The ego self is our learned self, what we believe to be true based on our experiences.

And the fear of the unknown is what needs to be faced in order to do that. Facing it when every fiber of my being says "run away" is where I am right now.
_________________________
--
"And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream 'til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out"

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