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#467460 - 07/10/14 11:27 PM Re: helplessness: the last line of defense [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Gaatt:

Good to hear the similarities, as painful as they are.

Like you, for many years I empathized with women who had been hurt. It became something I thought I was good at, something that seemed to make it easier to get close to them.

When more of what was going on began to come into my consciousness, I had a hard time reconciling the old person with the new one. These days the best sense I have of things not being integrated is when I just feel dead inside. I now understand that being numb is a defense.

So as much as I would like to say that my connection to women is changing, I think it's all more complicated than that. There is still a lot of confusion to sort through about what I really need from someone. It's as if a man is here that was not here before and I'm trying to listen to him.

One thing that I do seem to be doing is having a different relationship to being playful and having fun. It feels more genuine sometimes. I'm not sure why, but it's as if the person who is whole is more willing and understands that some bravery is needed in the task of being here.

There is a way that working things out with my Mom would appear to make things better with other women. The problem with that is that it's still difficult for me to differentiate between mom and other women. What I mean is, is that because Mom was so interested in merging with me and not giving me the emotional feedback I needed, I tend to miss what other women are actually asking me for.

So taking things slowly with the goal of becoming and remaining more present to my thoughts and impulses still seems like the right road to be on. I'm sure I'll have more to say as more time passes.



Don64:

For some reason, a quote I found in a book on the body has been resonating with what you wrote.

"The ultimate goal of working with body memories is neither remembering facts nor reexperiencing emotions. Healing requires changing our relationship to our memories. Transformation comes from investing the traumatic event with a new meaning—Rubenfeld calls it “rescripting.” It necessitates replacing unsuccessful episodes with successful ones and imprinting new neuromuscular patterns. And in the process, we establish or reestablish somatic, emotional, and psychological resources."

Perhaps this is something we all know intuitively. Going through the emotions of the past is done to get us more in the present.

For me, there have literally been times when my brain has decided to go offline and I've had to stay in my body in order to understand what I'm feeling. This is as frightening as one could imagine in some ways, but with awareness, I've been able to see the dissociative trance I've been in from a secure place in myself. So that's why I'm not surprised that you have had the experience of new ways of thinking.

Thanks for responding and understanding,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#467574 - 07/14/14 03:38 AM Re: helplessness: the last line of defense [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

Your post is helping me, right now in this present moment, in ways you probably could not have known. I am going through a time of MY brain being offline, a time of feeling my infant and toddler terror, and it is as scary as it gets for me--feeling I am asked to do so much more than I am able to do and death is imminent. This is the space where I have always raced around in fear and urgency in the physical world and created a self-fulfilling prophecy of an abusive situation for myself.


This space is not able to use good judgment. In fact, the sole feature of this space is to survive without the ability to judge or to understand. This is the space of circular thinking, where I shut down my ability to feel in an effort to survive the abusive situation I was born into. Your post, combined with my posting "out loud in the present" here, is enabling me to ride this out, to experience this hysterical out of control thinking and the space that does not feel inside me, to consciously choose to set no creative energy in motion from this place, and so create a new outcome. It has not been easy for my adult self to step into this space because of the level of terror, but I am doing it.

And, this is the first time this energy is coming into consciousness for me. I believe this is the beginning of this infant terror integrating into all of me, which suggests there will be a change in my thinking. It should be obvious to me. This is the place that has always impulsed me to getting into trouble.

A work in progress.

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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#467607 - 07/14/14 10:13 PM Re: helplessness: the last line of defense [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don64:

Thanks very much for your post.

I understand what you are saying. For me this state can evolve into a kind of paranoia, beyond the usual vigilance. I think describing the different feelings is not only good, but essential. It normalizes what the child could never sort out.

I'm beginning to accept the constellation of my mother's behaviors. Like yourself, the fear of them has probably been the cause of a lot of trouble for me. Underneath a confident exterior, it probably exhibited the damage in ways that led me down wrong roads and left me open to being taken advantage of. Perhaps the intense need for safety was never acknowledged, which is why I took up offers for that in all the wrong places.

In my case, my mother was not overtly abusive. She unknowingly took me into a lifelong trance that has covered up a lot of feelings of dependency. She inhibited natural processes in me and made me hate them because of how they made me feel. My terror is one of confusion, where things don't add up consistently.

Like you said, the adult has the benefit of greater knowledge and awareness. I struggle with what the words are that can be spoken to the toddler, who in my case is coming out from under the bed and looking around for real for the first time.

As I watch my five year old son struggle with his feelings, I realize that talking to this toddler is not a simple matter, nor is it the only thing necessary. Listening, embracing, reassuring, calming -- all of these are necessary ways to take care of the neglected child in us.

I hope you will find and take the time and energy necessary to be good to yourself. These terrors are not for the faint of heart, and the young heart within us needs TLC from the braver one that has endured.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#467659 - 07/15/14 10:55 PM Re: helplessness: the last line of defense [Re: focusedbody]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 123
Originally Posted By: focusedbody
the young heart within us needs TLC from the braver one that has endured.

Thanks FB! this is really beautiful. I'm touched.

GAATT
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#467727 - 07/17/14 05:39 PM Re: helplessness: the last line of defense [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

I love the word "constellation" in your reference to your mother. For me, the vastness of that word describes the smothering capacity of my mother with me. And, the covert is completely crazy making for me. The overt savage brutality of childhood rape is simple for me in comparison to the insidiousness and pervasiveness of the covert stuff. The efforts to decode were endless and kept me living an insane life until recently. For me, there was simply no way to operate in the world with people and make any headway untangling the insane labyrinth of defenses my young self cobbled together. My effort to remain safe from her insured the obliteration of any contact with an authentic self.

In a regression retreat I attended 20 years ago, the leader gave an example with three cups of different sizes. She started with the smallest cup and began filling it with water, saying the cup was ourselves. She asked the question, "What happens when your cup fills up with experience?" Well, of course at that moment she filled the cup and it began to spill on the floor. She answered her own question and said "You need a bigger cup." She made the same point with the medium size cup, etc.

That has been valuable for me in my recovery process as I retrieve my infant and child selves. I actually visualize the container that is me as growing larger to contain my adult wise self while also holding my young and barely formed selves in safety and love. It isn't so easy when I'm at a new growing edge, but it does become easier as I "grow" into it. As I grow, my ability to comfortably allow my immature and damaged places to have whatever flexibility of expression they need becomes easier.

And, your sensitizing me to the need for me to have a different relationship with my memories has been so timely. Today during a lengthy nap, I awoke from a dream. In it there were a number of mundane interactions with my mother, and in them all she was uncomplicated, calm, totally nonthreatening, and in general totally chilled out. That's never happened before. She wasn't of any particular benefit to me, but she was no threat to me. Now, I still have no intention of ever seeing or talking to my actual mother again, but my relationship with my internalized experiences of her are changing. And, thanks to you I have a context to help make sense of all this.

The creative power of this process continually amazes me.

Don


Edited by don64 (07/17/14 05:42 PM)

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