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#455995 - 12/04/13 10:32 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: don64]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY

Originally Posted By: don64
The process continues and I trust it. Also, I have also been able to move into my left hip which has been a problem for me for years. I knew mom stuck pins in me intentionally to inflict pain. When I moved into the hip with this new focus I felt absolute hatred from my mother. My hip is better, and I'll just have to play it by ear how many times I need to go there, or if it is something I will always need to do from time to time.


Don:

Sorry to have waited a while to respond to this, but I was considering how to put it into words, and perhaps face some more of my own demons.

In an earlier post of mine I asked a similar question of "how many times I need to go there". In my case, it involved playing the piano in a new conscious way, which somehow triggered old childhood memories.

As you can probably guess, the answer to that question is most likely to be as long as it takes to feel the truth and pain of what happened.

Originally Posted By: don64
I was a practicing massage therapist for 7 years. Quit about 7 years ago when I realized I needed all my time for myself and my journey wasn't about me being a massage therapist. I became a massage therapist because I needed all the tools that experience provided me just to move to the next step. Thanks so much for the recommendation.


I’m wondering if what you are saying here is that being a massage therapist helped you learn about yourself.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456155 - 12/05/13 11:57 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

All the body work that was done on me was EXACTLY what released my abuse memories, in my opinion. That, combined with living only one hour drive from my parents instead of an 8 hour drive for the first time in 39 years. I lived near them while I was in massage school and for 3 years after, at which time I had begun to remember the abuse and decided to divorce my whole family.

The progression for me was an 18 day retreat in N. California that regressed back to in the womb up through age 12. This was a massive spiritual/energetic opening for me--automatic writing, psychic contact "out the wazoo," channeling energy, spirit contact. Very crazy time as I was stretching myself waaaaaaay out. I fit the profile of psychotic for a period of about 6 months, but I never lost the ability to care for myself by myself. It was dicey at times about keeping myself safe. But I made it through with the help of my shrink and a psychic I saw weekly for 6 months referred by my shrink.

This period was a massive opening up of my inner world and set the stage for me to reinvent my life. If one were involved with a partner, children, friends, family, I would not recommend going this route, as undoubtedly they might have hospitalized you. However, I was fairly isolated and could explore without much interference.

I began to think of massage school, and eventually natural events just urged me in that direction. If I were conscious of my abuse before going to massage school, and felt universal support for the idea, I would also trust I would be directed to the right school with the right people. I would also imagine it important to be absolutely honest with the massage program. It's the only way to get the support you need. Few people in massage schools actually go on to have a career as massage therapists. Its my take that most people go to massage school for personal reasons. I doubt many know that at the time. I certainly didn't. Hope this helps.

Being a massage therapist was a very frustrating experience for me. My strong pull was for intuitive body work. I was able to intuit the energy lodged in body areas causing difficulty. I was not interested in being a massage robot, and never fit in. It just wasn't my journey. It took me a long time to understand I am very, very damaged from my early abuse, was not able to work anymore, and had received guidance to accumulate the tools necessary to face the next leg of my journey. The process of figuring all that out was brutal for me, but figure it out I did, and I feel very fortunate.

I am more damaged than many, and I have more tools than many. Balance. I'm sending you a PM on some other things that be a little hijacking of this thread.

Best Wishes,

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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#456251 - 12/06/13 10:25 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Don:

Thanks so much for elaborating.

Although I'm not considering going to massage school, I think I am on a similar journey right now. I have had a "strong pull for intuitive body work" for a while.

Like yourself, I did some "regressing" to the "womb". Have you heard of Breathwork? Somehow I think it has allowed me to tap some fundamental feelings that were not available to me before. With all the added information I had about my upbringing given to me by my parents and siblings, I was better able to deeply consider how it effected me, especially with regard to the experience of my body.

Although there have been times that I also thought I was going way too far, these daily efforts have gradually enabled me to handle my emotional life in ways I couldn't do for a long time. (That being said, I still have more work to do.) I suppose most of all, bodywork has helped me put in perspective some of the sensations that go on which before I had no way of making sense of and mostly dismissed. For instance, a lot of writing about relationships brings up the question of “fight or flight”. Well, I guess I always heard that as an either-or. Now I can actually understand that there is another option, which is about tuning into myself and truly seeking the other person. This happens more now in how I get a picture of my body and what's happening in it. I think working on this may be a better road to intimacy than all the theorizing I would do about how to make things perfect.

Hope we can keep this conversation going. Talking about the body is very grounding for me as I work through trauma.

Hope you are keeping a positive attitude through all the work you are doing.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456285 - 12/07/13 03:37 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi fb,

I began doing breathwork in that regression retreat I did about 19 years ago. I can't remember the name of it, it might have been something like "holotropic" but I am not sure. Any way, it basically changes the brain waves and somehow "stretches" our perceptive abilities. When i was in that retreat it was actually explained as an alternative to lsd as a healing tool. I have kept it up over the years, and frequently find myself doing the kind of more rapid, more regular, deeper breathing that induces the state. My sense is that it produces a state in the brain and/or body's organic adaptive apparatus where old patterns have room to stretch and reform, hopefully in a more balanced if not yet harmonious way. I sort of look on this work as continuous re-tuning.

I too, stay focused on what's going on with my body. For me, it is the only honest feedback I have access to, and it is a completely trustworthy directional signal. Kind of funny, since I have also never been able to actually inhabit my body. Progress, not perfection.

And, thanks for your kind words. My attitude is staying positive, relatively speaking. Connections such as this one with you are very meaningful for me. I have not been in an ongoing relationship in 19 years, and have a ways to go. I'm feeling pretty good about the "curious instead of controlling" approach. As I feel safe moving more deeply into my trauma, I sense that my self-built defensive obstacles will melt the more closely I get to the original damage. I am feeling more optimistic than I ever have.

I'm enjoying this interchange.

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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#456419 - 12/08/13 05:51 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Don:

I admire your bravery. Having been at the point of facing down the harrowing memories with the "curious not controlling approach", I have a little bit of an idea of what you are talking about.

What's interesting about our discussion is how when talking about combining different approaches, one starts to see connections between them. For instance, your comment about being "curious instead of controlling" reminds me a lot of how Internal Family Systems therapy works. Traumatic memories have to be approached slowly and with compassion, as if one is talking to a child, the child within.

Another interesting connection I had was before I went to my first Breathwork session. The night before going I found myself spontaneously shaking up and down my back. After the session, I soon came upon somatic experiencing, as researched and described by Peter Levine. SE refers to the physiological response of shaking as a way of releasing the accumulated tension and shock of trauma.

I think what's most difficult here is that when we feel traumatized or threatened our "mind" is not functioning well. For me it feel like I'm in constant overdrive, which could be translated as vigilance or defensiveness. What I have recently been thinking about is how this over-vigilant mind emerges with a kind of focused attention that can be exhausting. That attention can even become hypervigilant about our own body.

What's "funny" about the idea of "inhabiting our body" is the fact that we of course are inhabiting it, even when we try to distance ourselves from the experience in our conscious or unconscious mind. I came across a helpful description of the mind-body connection recently. It talked about trying to attain an "embodied mind" as well as a "mindful body".

I think your description of "continuous re-tuning" makes sense. Sometimes when tuning in continuously the same way, the connection gets lost. It seems like the body is not fully there. The contradiction of life rears its ugly head once again. In those instances I sometimes find it helpful to help my focus be softer in some way, as in less directed, concentrated and purposeful. This leads me closer to actually knowing what I'm feeling.

Sorry for the wordiness here. Talking about all of this is sometimes inexact. Nonetheless, I'm interested in your thoughts.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456424 - 12/08/13 07:01 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

Earlier this year I was very close to going into assisted living as a disabled person. I could no longer carry groceries, shower standing up, very difficult and painful negotiating the 3 steps to my apartment, lost use of both thumbs and hands very weak. This all happened in the build-up to remembering the sexual abuse from my mother. Her impact on me was by far the most damaging, as she is/was deceptive, manipulative, and generally communicated energetically the opposite of her words. Very crazy making.

Fortunately, I figured out what was going on and cancelled the assisted living process and turned the situation around. I've picked up a few tools since then regarding consciously going back into the memories of body symptoms.

I've been making many healthy choices lately. Doing this is new for me and I am quite excited about it. So, don't you know my right thumb started really breaking down again--pain, weakness. I caressed my thumb and said to it, "Momma, you don't belong here. You are not a part of me any more. I send you love and good will." The pain left. Still some weakness, but I think that is actually resolving in a much larger shift that is occurring with all my body systems--a much larger over all health shift. Time will tell. My abuse issues have taken a pretty substantial toll on my health, AND I do sense major turn around happening. It's just slow, and that feel's right and natural. It's part of integrating all of this.

My left wrist began to get stiff and painful some time after my thumb thing. I did my "Momma..." sentence and felt a lot of energy leaving my body. Still some pain and stiffness in my wrist, so I moved my awareness into my wrist and felt/saw my mother hitting my left wrist with a spoon while trying to feed me. The pain and stiffness left my wrist and a peacefulness came over me.

I sense I have a lot of work to do in this way with both my mother and my father, but it does feel like a major shift for me--a shift of finally moving the energy out instead of just chewing on it and becoming better acquainted with it. It's just that I was battered a lot as an infant and toddler. By the time I was 5 I had learned to keep myself shut down and pretty much avoid beatings. Not always, but mostly.

It feels I'm in the early stage of developing an ability to sort of continuously release blocked energy in my body with awareness. Feels hopeful and healthy.

As you have gathered, I am not concerned about wordiness. Communication is important from ME to me as well as from ME to others. I am not interested in abbreviating MYSELF. I don't need for you to abbreviate YOURSELF either, and am also interested in your thoughts.

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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#460379 - 02/09/14 10:55 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
For me, this thread is like a never ending labyrinth. I appreciate the feedback I've gotten here.

At the risk of heading further into the abyss, I'd like to share another piece just beyond my reach.

After a relatively peaceful day, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt my leg clutch itself, as if to defend against something.

I'm beginning to make connections to this impulse and the many ways in which my body has felt it had to hold on, until a bit of peace and security return.

Originally Posted By: 1lifenow
2. NON CONCEPTUAL - we just haven't a clue what is happening yet our body does. Especially when it happens as a pattern our body stores the physiological ( the feeling itself of say pain, or pleasure ) way before we have the ability to understand what the hell just happened.


I know this might sound a bit too circumstantial, but what I think I'm holding onto is this kind of pattern. It's as if there is the constant loop of pleasure and pain and it never ends and I have no idea of why it is there.

This experience of wondering "what the hell just happened" is basically what I go through each time I see my family.

In order to consciously decouple pain and pleasure it seems like I have to take a dive into a sea of dissociative and diconnected memories. While this seems a little extreme, it is also true that from time to time I'm probably swimming there anyway!

Thanks for the wisdom here. Would appreciate any additional feed back, anecdotes, stories, sensations, as I feel like I am a little child in a little body resting in the flesh of a man.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#461166 - 02/20/14 09:36 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

It sounds like you get re-traumatized each time you see your family. That doesn't happen with me, because when I began to remember paternal abuse 11 years ago I finally understood just how toxic my family is for me and realized the ONLY healthy thing for me was to divorce them all. Even so, it took another ten years before I could begin to remember maternal abuse. I am not even hinting that you should do anything the way I have done.

I have learned to read my body symptoms quite well, and so have a large understanding of what all happened to me. But, releasing my locked up trauma(fear and terror--emotional pain) is very slow work at this time. I was so battered in infancy and childhood, my developing personality so thoroughly thwarted, that there were no successful efforts at developing a personal identity. There was a great deal of violence with me regarding potty training, in addition to sadistic and violent experiences during sexual abuse in infancy and early childhood.

So, I remained primarily shut down emotionally until the past few years. I had to be forced to walk through painful and terrifying situations due to life situations beyond my control. However, now that I am on the other side of those situations beyond my control, I see the elegance of the process. I would have never chosen to go that route, but I did clear on massive buried terror and can now consciously choose and embrace healthy situations for myself. That doesn't mean that I resemble anything close to what would be considered normal for most people, but it does mean that I have succeeded in seeing myself in what I feel is an honest and clear light. Doing this has enabled me to make choices that are empowering, and choose paths that support healing for me.

The emotional pain that resides in me(fear, terror) is still substantial. However, I have learned that, for me, my healing process seems to be automatic and moves at a pace that I can handle as long as I am able to avoid choices based on fear and urgency. So, while many would look at me and say 'gee, that guy is really sick,' I look at myself and say 'gee, I have moved through so much and have developed extraordinary strength with which to face my challenges.

So, at this point the fear and terror (emotional pain) is not usually threatening to me at all, as I have moved through enough to trust the process, and have learned enough healthy ways of managing strong emotional surges when they choose to break through old, old chains. I am learning to hold my damaged "selves" in comfort and safety as I move through a continuous releasing process.

This recent ability to hold my damaged "selves" when they feel threatened results in extraordinary growth and integration, so my healing process has grown exponentially.

Your chosen screen name here seems particularly appropriate. The level of focus you demonstrate seems a wonderful gift for all those places in yourself only you can care for.

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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#461182 - 02/20/14 04:35 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Don:

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Fear and urgency definitely sum up a certain kind of reaction that overtakes me. What's odd is that I am so used to the surge of energy from the reaction that I cannot remember not having it.

I'm not sure how much of my normal daily energy is invested in these surges of fear, vigilance and readiness. So slowly undoing that habit brings up the additional fear that I might collapse.

In general, I don't so much as actually collapse, as experience an intense and sustained need to "get back in my body". So, the cycle continues. I learn a little, become a little more conscious, and allow myself to take another step to being fully present.

Along the way I sometimes feel that I have another persona that wants to direct the whole healing process. I know that it is there because I can feel myself getting defensive, instead of allowing the process to unfold.

Trying to remain conscious about all this can be a struggle, of course. Like yourself, I'm beginning to have faith that the damaged parts of me are safe and healing at their own pace. As I get better, I have moments of relaxing and feeling more peaceful.

Maybe someday I won't have to listen to the part of me that doesn't trust, that wants to force things to happen, and that feels a little inauthentic.

Thank you for having the courage to let others know about this path of releasing pain. I know no other way now, but to continue. It means a lot to not be alone.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#461184 - 02/20/14 05:45 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
It feels good to participate in seeing and being seen. It makes me feel "real" in a way that is not very familiar to me, but feels very grounding, very calm and very nice. Thanks for your kind words. 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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