Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 479827

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Re: knowing why doesn't help me much sunny10

Posted by antigua on April 5, 2005, at 13:34:57

In reply to Re: knowing why doesn't help me much (nm) antigua, posted by sunny10 on April 5, 2005, at 11:53:19

I'm sorry. I can only hope that if I know why then maybe I can find a way to stop it. I haven't done that yet and maybe I'm just dreaming...
best,
antigua

 

Re: knowing why doesn't help me much antigua

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 13:55:42

In reply to Re: knowing why doesn't help me much sunny10, posted by antigua on April 5, 2005, at 13:34:57

> I'm sorry. I can only hope that if I know why then maybe I can find a way to stop it. I haven't done that yet and maybe I'm just dreaming...
> best,
> antigua

Here's my experience with this process....

For many years, all I knew was that something was wrong. Something was seriously wrong, but I didn't know what. When it was suggested to me what was wrong, I couldn't accept it, and dismissed the idea out of hand. But I never forgot the idea, and I began to see that it offered an explanation for what was wrong, after all. That was better than before, when I had no idea at all what was wrong.

The frustrating part of coming to understand the what part of the wrong part is that I could only do it in retrospect, looking back at something that had happened, sometimes months or years before. What use is that, really?

But it's part of the flow. You can start to pick up on the pattern, and suddenly, one day, you pick up the pattern while it's happening. Yes, in Real Time! That's quite a thrill, let me tell you. It's like thinking "Look! There's one of those, right there!"

What triggered me to post that first post in this thread was one of those things that I didn't recognize. I didn't see that one coming, and I got a bit blindsided by it. I guess my frustration was huge because of the old feeling of total helplessness that comes from being snuck up on.

But, I figured that episode out, after only a few hours of reflection. I feel a whole lot better (though much for tired) now.

It's a new skill, and it takes practise. Remember the first time you got a bicycle to stay up? I bet it wasn't the first time you tried. This is kind of like that.

IMHO, when you've figured out what is wrong, you're 70 or 80% of the way towards actively sorting it out. Most of the work is done. All you gotta do now is catch sight of one those little suprises when it sneaks up you....sneaky little buggers.

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Tabitha on April 5, 2005, at 14:54:52

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Tabitha, posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 8:27:59

I think they key to circumventing these episodes is probably connecting with the feelings that are driving the actions. Anger is probably the top level, but underneath it is usually hurt. My T used to tell me I would act instead of feeling. I barely knew what she was talking about, but she was right. Connecting with those feelings helps temper the compulsiveness of the actions.

Lately we're working with this critical parent/child/adult stuff. I've learned that most of my 'triggered' feelings come from my own internal critic. It was hard to admit that, because it felt to me that the criticism was coming from 'out there'. So I'd focus on my anger at others, when the real hurtful message was coming from inside. Or maybe it originated from outside, but it only hurt because my own critic picked it up and validated it.

So if the same thing is going on with you, maybe your inner critic is picking up the idea "your feelings don't matter. nobody cares about your feelings" and battering you with that. Then of course your little kid has a temper tantrum. Does that fit at all?

From there, the thing to do is talk back to that critic and comfort the child. In my sessions we're using a bat to whack the critic (no kidding). Once you learn to do some self-comfort, then the need for external validation lets up, and life gets easier.

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Tamar on April 5, 2005, at 15:55:01

In reply to I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by Larry Hoover on April 4, 2005, at 19:53:21

When I read your post I really identified with it. I do the same kind of thing regularly. And even though I know intellectually most of the things that are likely to trigger me, it doesn't always prevent it happening. I'm sure it's part of the PTSD.

In my case it wasn't my mother, but other stuff. But the experience you describe sounds very familiar to me. I get that rhetoric thing too. And I absolutely hate losing control at any time, so losing control in response to a trigger can be terrifying. I absolutely cannot stand anything that sounds like personal criticism, and that's unfortunate because my job involves taking a certain amount of critique, which isn't supposed to be personal, but often feels personal!

I hope you found what you were looking for among the replies to your post. And I hope things will get easier for you.

Tamar

 

Re: Tofu henrietta

Posted by Gabbi-x-2 on April 5, 2005, at 17:25:22

In reply to Tofu, posted by henrietta on April 5, 2005, at 9:33:24

> I vote for nobody getting to wear one, despite the bust enhancing possibilities. :]
*g*
Thanks for that!

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Tabitha

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 17:58:54

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Tabitha on April 5, 2005, at 14:54:52

> I think they key to circumventing these episodes is probably connecting with the feelings that are driving the actions. Anger is probably the top level, but underneath it is usually hurt.

Yes, I long ago figured out that anger is a cloak I pull over hurt, embarassment, humiliation, whatever. Glad to have that validated.

> Lately we're working with this critical parent/child/adult stuff. I've learned that most of my 'triggered' feelings come from my own internal critic.

I appreciate the suggestion, but my mechanism must be different. It's like my inner child wants to grow up and be treated perfectly/equally/morally/ethically properly, all in an instant.....while I'm not so sure the little self-righteous bastaad is doing that in return. (I don't know where *I* go, when he's at the wheel. It's almost like lost time.) It's an act of defiance, a symbolic lifting of the oppression of my childhood. I never internalized the abuse. I was subdued by it. And remnants of his indignation burst up.

Or something like that.

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 19:01:41

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Tabitha, posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 17:58:54

Larry, I think you described a dissociative episode- not one that amounts to DID, but which is on that spectrum- perhaps more towards the "ego state disorder" end. Having Complex PTSD myself, (although not knowing it until recently), I always tried to make very fair and thoughtful decisions, professionally, and remained unaware that I was often "triggered" into flashbacks by any sort of unfair or cruel behavior by others. I know much better, now! When similiar things happen to me, as happened to you, I *know* what is happening now, and know to let the younger, injured ego-states come into therapy and tell, as fully as possible, what they are feeling and suffering. The most helpful thing, I've found, is to let the feelings flow as freely as possible. It feels like that is where healing lies.

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 21:03:55

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 19:01:41

> Larry, I think you described a dissociative episode- not one that amounts to DID, but which is on that spectrum- perhaps more towards the "ego state disorder" end. Having Complex PTSD myself, (although not knowing it until recently), I always tried to make very fair and thoughtful decisions, professionally, and remained unaware that I was often "triggered" into flashbacks by any sort of unfair or cruel behavior by others. I know much better, now! When similiar things happen to me, as happened to you, I *know* what is happening now, and know to let the younger, injured ego-states come into therapy and tell, as fully as possible, what they are feeling and suffering. The most helpful thing, I've found, is to let the feelings flow as freely as possible. It feels like that is where healing lies.

Thank you, but I'm going to have to Hmmmm on this one. Hmmmm.....

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 21:52:17

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg, posted by Larry Hoover on April 5, 2005, at 21:03:55

O.K.....Hmmm right back at you!

 

Re: Can I join in? Hmm? ;-) (nm) Pfinstegg

Posted by alexandra_k on April 6, 2005, at 1:21:24

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 21:52:17

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so.....

Posted by sunny10 on April 6, 2005, at 10:27:37

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 21:52:17

guess we're all wondering what you consider the difference between "internalizing" and "subduing"... I think one involves the other to a large extent, Larry. And what you said sounds like me, too... that "little child wanting everything, but not helping out much" feels familiar, and so does "I don't know where "I" go during these outburst" (or words to that effect- my "exact-o-meter" seems to be shut down these days).

That's kinda what I meant when I said that "knowing what causes the triggers doesn't seem to help me" because I still react this way when I get blindsided like you do...

My brain's a bit mushy on overload, forgive me if I've mangled your thoughts...

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... sunny10

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 10:39:25

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by sunny10 on April 6, 2005, at 10:27:37

> guess we're all wondering what you consider the difference between "internalizing" and "subduing"... I think one involves the other to a large extent, Larry.

I knew what was happening to me was wrong. I did not agree. I knew it was unfair. I was simply overpowered. And I think my little boy has been waiting for a chance to speak, to be heard, to reject false attributions.

I've got an inner critic, no doubt about that. I've made mistakes, certainly, and it sometimes feels like those are being endlessly replayed in my head. I literally tell my inner critic to f*ck off. Occasionally, those words actually come out of my mouth. I remember once, in a mall, just before Christmas.....an outburst....the parting of the crowds....heh.

Those are distinct, in me, the inner critic and the sense of being suppressed. I knew, I guess, even way back then, what was my mom's sh*t and what was my sh*t. What happened to me simply wasn't fair. I guess I had boundaries of some sort.

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by antigua on April 6, 2005, at 11:12:21

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... sunny10, posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 10:39:25

Sounds like you've found a good way to handle it. I'm still looking. Part of my problem is suppressed rage--I can get outwardly anger at regular things in life (husband, kids, whatever) and keep those in line (usually). The couple of times that I've been majorly triggered, like you said, I haven't figured it out until afterward, but blindsided is the right word to describe how I've felt.

My biggest problem is that I can't let the rage out. It's all internalized. So part of me is really stressed about when I do blow, will I just lose control entirely? That's my resistance, of course, but I don't get Brownie points for just knowing; someday, hopefully, it will come out and I can begin to heal. Maybe I can heal w/o it, but I really don't think so.
antigua

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so.....

Posted by sunny10 on April 6, 2005, at 11:39:12

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by antigua on April 6, 2005, at 11:12:21

wow, you guys say this stuff so much clearer than I do! It's like you're in my head, straightening out my thoughts so they make sense!

Good for you, Lar, for your "outburst" at the mall... I keep waiting to do that, too, Antigua!

I think I'll wind up one of those muttering old ladies rocking on her porch with her twelve cats and yelling at the kids to get off my grass.... My brother said that to me once- that I would turn out like that- I guess he's right!!!

Though I would much rather figure out how to expunge all that rage inside before then without nuking the neighborhood...

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so.....

Posted by Susan47 on April 6, 2005, at 14:09:40

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... sunny10, posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 10:39:25

Larry doesn't respond to my posts, I don't think he likes me, but here goes anyway, I think that is so hilarious, the parting of the crowds because you said "f*ck off" to yourself. I've done the same type of thing and it always just cracks me up internally.

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... sunny10

Posted by Susan47 on April 6, 2005, at 14:12:09

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by sunny10 on April 6, 2005, at 11:39:12

Little old ladies with a hundred cats usually smell. But if they can take care of everybody and everything, there's nothing wrong with that ... even if they do yell and curse at the neighbourhood ... every kid needs a legend in his time, to set as an example, you know ...

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Susan47

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 19:41:01

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by Susan47 on April 6, 2005, at 14:09:40

> Larry doesn't respond to my posts,

Sometimes there is no way to improve on what another has posted. It stands alone.

> I don't think he likes me,

Simply not true.

> but here goes anyway, I think that is so hilarious, the parting of the crowds because you said "f*ck off" to yourself.

It was. It was loud! It went dead silent in my immediate vicinity. All eyes were on me. And, suddenly, I had all kinds of space around me. I should try waiting in a lineup at the bank.

> I've done the same type of thing and it always just cracks me up internally.

Ya, it is kind of weird having an internal dialogue that leaks.

Lar

 

Weird but Wonderful, Larry...

Posted by Susan47 on April 6, 2005, at 20:02:33

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Susan47, posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 19:41:01

I'm finally accepting I have this difference from a lot of other people, that this thing I've always had is okay 'cause people like you have it, or something like it, a bit of this, a little of that, and right now I'm very happy with that. It's okay. If I turn heads, so be it ... just not at work, please. Not at work. Sigh. The test is coming soon. May I, please, Larry, 'cause you were so nice to me? Mwah.

 

You made me blush! (nm) Susan47

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 6, 2005, at 22:09:47

In reply to Weird but Wonderful, Larry..., posted by Susan47 on April 6, 2005, at 20:02:33

 

Rage, and validation antigua

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 9:40:47

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by antigua on April 6, 2005, at 11:12:21

> Sounds like you've found a good way to handle it. I'm still looking. Part of my problem is suppressed rage--I can get outwardly anger at regular things in life (husband, kids, whatever) and keep those in line (usually). The couple of times that I've been majorly triggered, like you said, I haven't figured it out until afterward, but blindsided is the right word to describe how I've felt.
>
> My biggest problem is that I can't let the rage out. It's all internalized. So part of me is really stressed about when I do blow, will I just lose control entirely? That's my resistance, of course, but I don't get Brownie points for just knowing; someday, hopefully, it will come out and I can begin to heal. Maybe I can heal w/o it, but I really don't think so.
> antigua

I remember that, worrying that the dam would break. I don't worry about that any more.

I think it's a stage in healing, to be where you're at. You know you have a dam, or some solid container, for the old rages. You know that it has outlets, just like a dam, that are controlled.....opened and closed as needed. You've developed what we call a schema, a mental picture of how that part of you is. You're ready to apply it to real experiences, but you haven't managed that (consistently), YET. (I love the word "yet". It's a hopeful word, and keeps me from dwelling on past limits. It lets me look forward, to future opportunities.)

What has come, for me, from that image of a dam holding back the floodwaters of rage, is the perception that I have the control to release rage in appropriate amounts. They open and close floodgates on real dams, and so can I. Most of the time, that image of controlled release works really well.

The thing you have to do is to notice that rage is coming from behind the dam (I mean, in real time, it's happening now).....spilling over the top might be an image that works. Instead, you decide to draw down the floodwaters, by opening one of the floodgates, to make it a controlled release.

My picture is that the triggering experience needs to be addressed in some measured way (it was meaningful, whatever it was), *and* I can personalize the interaction based on my history, by addressing the rage coming out.

Let's say, somebody fails to validate my feelings. I've put myself out there, and I feel that I have been dismissed or trivialized. It's perfectly okay to bring that up. An objective observer would agree this is an issue to resolve. But also, based on my own personal history, I can add to the discussion that I am particularly sensitive to this issue (toss in a squirt of rage from behind the dam). So, I give a measured *personal* response to the triggering issue. And in so doing, I validate myself. My rage is valid. It always was, or I wouldn't have it.

Now, the incident that related to my initial posting was a dam overflow event. (Must have been a storm, yonder, up the valley. ;-) ) But, I think I quickly got the management of the dam back under my control.

What I've found, over time, is that there is less ragewater behind my dam. (Comments about Hoover Dam, or Dam Hoover, insert here.) In fact, the dam itself seems to shrink in proportion to the ragewaters I've been able to release, in a measured way, under my control. That is true because of the self-validation, in my opinion.

That's the dam/rage schema, according to Lar.

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 9:45:46

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Pfinstegg on April 5, 2005, at 19:01:41

> Larry, I think you described a dissociative episode- not one that amounts to DID, but which is on that spectrum- perhaps more towards the "ego state disorder" end. Having Complex PTSD myself, (although not knowing it until recently), I always tried to make very fair and thoughtful decisions, professionally, and remained unaware that I was often "triggered" into flashbacks by any sort of unfair or cruel behavior by others. I know much better, now! When similiar things happen to me, as happened to you, I *know* what is happening now, and know to let the younger, injured ego-states come into therapy and tell, as fully as possible, what they are feeling and suffering. The most helpful thing, I've found, is to let the feelings flow as freely as possible. It feels like that is where healing lies.

I been ponderating, and cogitating, and hmmmming on this concept.....

Okay, the little boy got ahold of the steering wheel and throttle (carjacked me, he did), but I wasn't thrown out. I was temporarily a passenger in the car. Took me a while to wrestle back the controls, and then a little while to get my bearings, 'cause the little bugger took me off route and into an unfamiliar neighbourhood.

I don't think I totally dissociated..... How would others interpret what I just said?

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... sunny10

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 9:50:00

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by sunny10 on April 6, 2005, at 11:39:12

> wow, you guys say this stuff so much clearer than I do! It's like you're in my head, straightening out my thoughts so they make sense!

Wonderful! If we saved you a bit of work, and it all made sense, you just got a ladder on the "Snakes and Ladders" of life.

> Good for you, Lar, for your "outburst" at the mall...

Ya? I kind of laugh with myself about it, but it bugs me a bit. It's a pretty small city, where I live, and I do have a profile, a public personna.

> I keep waiting to do that, too, Antigua!

Well, let 'er rip sometime. Don't forget to make eye contact.

> I think I'll wind up one of those muttering old ladies rocking on her porch with her twelve cats and yelling at the kids to get off my grass.... My brother said that to me once- that I would turn out like that- I guess he's right!!!

Only if you wanna be that way.

> Though I would much rather figure out how to expunge all that rage inside before then without nuking the neighborhood...

Make a plan. Execute the plan. Today's the first day of the rest of your life.

Lar

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 7, 2005, at 18:33:58

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg, posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 9:45:46

No, it's not complete dissociation, because you're still aware of everything around you- and also very aware of how you would have preferred to have acted. I just meant that a younger, angrier part (which wouldn't exist without the abuse you described) was temporarily expressing his feelings.

I do this myself, but am still quite startled to find that my therapist considers it as coming from a different ego state. Even though it's happened hundreds of times in therapy (and of course outside, too), it always startles me that it's considered a different ego state which is not well integrated with the rest of me. Integration- holding the different states and feelings in mind simultaneously, and accepting them all, is our goal.

 

Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 22:24:32

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by Pfinstegg on April 7, 2005, at 18:33:58

> No, it's not complete dissociation, because you're still aware of everything around you- and also very aware of how you would have preferred to have acted. I just meant that a younger, angrier part (which wouldn't exist without the abuse you described) was temporarily expressing his feelings.
>
> I do this myself, but am still quite startled to find that my therapist considers it as coming from a different ego state. Even though it's happened hundreds of times in therapy (and of course outside, too), it always startles me that it's considered a different ego state which is not well integrated with the rest of me. Integration- holding the different states and feelings in mind simultaneously, and accepting them all, is our goal.

Thanks for talking to me at my pace. I think you startled me, too. I had a bit of an "Oh no!" sort of reaction, even though I had already said that I understood disocciative experiences to be in the same realm I occupy.

That's probably why I felt the need to talk this through, feeling on the verge of pressing forward with a new insight into what happens to me when I get triggered.

I have a counselling session next week. I think I have a topic already picked out.

Thanks,
Lar

 

accepting dissociated self states Larry Hoover

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 7, 2005, at 23:04:59

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Pfinstegg, posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 22:24:32

I've been really strugging with this concept for two years in analysis. I have recognized it many times, only to completely forget it, over and over. And I notice here at Psychobabble that people who may have it also go back and forth frequently as to whether they actually do. It's a tough diagnosis to learn to live and grow with. I was recently complaining to my analyst how fragmented and uncertain knowing that I've got it has made me feel. Where's the REAL me? He asked me a very interesting question: "would you want to go back and feel the way you did two years ago?" I was able to look him in the eyes and say, from the heart, "No. Never. It feels much better to know, even though it hurts a lot, and is so confusing some days."


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