buddhism, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, religion, self love

When we Feel Destroyed – We can Find Self Love

hands

There is a moment of utter destruction.

Some would call this rock bottom

Everything we believed to be true comes into question

All the behaviors and beliefs that ruled our lives are in doubt

Our ability to perceive reality properly is in doubt

There is an inner questioning of our very sanity

We feel broken, destroyed

There is grief for past years that we feel may have been wasted

We feel anger towards our abusers who stole things from us, they had no right to claim

There is a condemnation of ourselves for being mislead, abused, and undermined by others

There is a fear of the future and a feeling of doubt as to how to proceed

The going has gotten tough…and we have no idea how the tough get going

This is the moment of deconstruction

Deconstruction of our inner self.

Deconstruction of the world as we have been perceiving it

Deconstruction of our beliefs, our priorities, our perception, our values, our mental behavioral patterns

This is the moment of both utter destruction and epiphany

There has to be a destruction of the incorrect, self hurtful perceptions and beliefs

Truth needs to be seen in a new and different light

Our previous beliefs about wrong and right, being a “good” person no longer serve us

We can realize that what others tell us to do to “be a good person” may not serve us

We finally realize that “others” have their own agenda and speak to us about our behaviors out of that agenda

Reality and perception are personal and individual

We must create our own reality and choose our perceptions of that reality

Allowing others to do this for us, or force their reality upon us, ends up in the destruction of our souls

Now we realize that in the midst of the destruction of who we have been up until this point, is the beginning of our starting to live

We claim the right to choose how we perceive things.

We claim the right to feel what it is that we feel

To think and perceive the truth as it best serves our soul

We draw new boundaries within ourselves and do not give others permission to decide what those boundaries are

We give ourselves permission to study, to learn, to research, to think and to evaluate

We matter

We have as much of a right to our beliefs, our thoughts and our feelings as anyone else does

We no longer have to feel guilty for refusing not to set ourselves on fire, for someone elses’s agenda

We find that we can know ourselves better than anyone else can know us

Those that claim to know us better than we know ourselves are manipultors and we owe them nothing

The person who had been neglected is ourselves

The brilliant mind that needs to be set free is our own

The compassion in our hearts should be valued. Not crushed and taken advantage of

We deconstruct all that has been true

We reconstruct from where we are, in the present moment

We are born anew and can begin to live

bipolar, bipolar disorder, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, poem, poetry, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Healing Requires Feeling

Healing requires feeling

It is nature’s only  way

Of disinfecting

the mental wounds

And closing them to stay

It seems too much to bear at first

Sometimes we want to quit

We regress to places past

And fear the future trauma

But healing always means feeling

There is no other path

That really grows our hearts

And makes us strong at last

acoa, addiction, adult children of abuse, adult children of alcoholics, alcoholism, anxiety, anxiety attack, battered women, bipolar, bipolar disorder, child abuse, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, therapy for mental disorders

Being Able to Speak About Our Mental Illness or History of Abuse

Some people with mental illness speak freely about it and others are afraid to speak. Many of us have issues of mental illness because we were traumatized and mentally abused. It may have occurred during early childhood and is so far back that we do not really remember. There may be clear memories of some type of trauma or abuse during childhood.

We may have sustained psychological injury at the hands of an abusive partner during adulthood. Often times people are abused in childhood and then end up choosing partners who abuse them also. Not that we know that in the beginning. NO one hooks up with an abusive partner on purpose. They are often very charming and seemingly sweet at the beginning of the relationship.

If we were psychologically injured as children, then we were also probably conditioned that we do not speak of such things. There is secrecy and guilt built into those early relationships. We were taught that we do not talk about abuse, feelings about what goes on on our homes and to keep everything inside.

I remember Pat Benatar’s song “Hell is for Children” and she sings “Be Daddy’s good girl and don’t tell Mommy a thing. Be a good little boy and you’ll get a new toy. Tell Grandma you fell off the swing”

Very powerful lyrics and a great song. This is where the secrecy begins. We are taught that to be “good” means keeping your torment to yourself. Do not involve other people into the situation. Do not talk to people about your problems. Keep everything bottled up.

These behavioral patterns continue into adulthood. They are imprinted onto our brains with big “DON’T TELL” stampers. It is very hard to  break out of the patterns of not talking about things and keeping our “shame” to ourselves. We feel ashamed about what happened to us as children. We feel shame for having chosen an abusive partner.

We do not see other people around us, ending up in these situations. We feel ashamed and guilty. We feel like people will not believe us or that they will judge us. There is a feeling of not wanting to burden another person with our problems. No one wants to hear about MY problems, They are busy with their own problems.

Some of us even have trouble opening up to the family doctor or primary care physician. It can even go so far as not wanting to go to a therapist because we do not think they will  want to listen to. We may not think the therapist or psychiatrist will believe us. Maybe we will not explain our problems properly , in a way that they will understand.

Maybe the psychiatrist will think that his other patients have “real” mental health problems and we are just “faking it” or maybe we are afraid to tell the psychiatrist the whole truth because he never would have met anyone that bad before. Maybe we are the worst one ever and they will decide to commit us to a psychiatric facility.

These feelings have been conditioned into us by abusive people who did not want us to tell on them. They wanted to control us and they did not want to be revealed. Once their game is exposed, they can no longer play.

It is hard to change how we feel, We have ingrained reactions to things. Emotions are associated with anything that triggers memories from past trauma. Even the voice of the therapist sounding like your abusive father’s voice, could send you into post traumatic stress and immediately shut down your ability to communicate with them.

The solution is complex and it takes time to be able to open up to other people about mental illness. Sometimes people will respond in ways that are horrifying to us. Some people treat the mentally ill, the psychologically injured, like they are third class citizens. Like we are not competent , not reliable, not truthful and not worthy.

We already feel a low self esteem and a feeling that we are not as good as other people, if we endured years of mental abuse. If we had to hide things as a child then it is easy to go into that “safety mode” of hiding again.  I put “safety mode” in quotes because it is our old belief system. It was how we survived for years. It was the way we knew that we had to be, in order to avoid further trauma. Not that it kept the abuse from continuing.

It is necessary at some point, for us to open up and speak about our mental illness. We need to speak about our abuse during childhood or our abuse from our ex husband. It is not shameful. Anyone who makes you feel ashamed is not doing the right thing. You should be able to have feelings and thoughts like any other person.

You may have had experiences that are unique and that are so unusual that many people just cannot deal with them and they do not want to hear them. I am not suggesting frightening people or distressing them with your story.

The point is to reach out and find the right people to tell your story to. WordPress is great because we can tell our story here, with an avatar as our picture if we wish. We can be truthful and transparent. It is a healing thing to write about out thoughts and feelings about what has happened to damage us mentally and emotionally.

We are not designed to sustain trauma and keep it locked up inside of us. We are people that need the community of others, We need to be listened to and understood. We must have our feelings validated or we will become more mentally ill.

It is very tricky sometimes to know who is a safe person to talk to and who is not. It is hard to know what part of our story to tell someone and what part to leave out. We are so much in the middle of what is going on in our obsessive, constantly running brains, that we cannot always see the forest through the trees.

Reach out anyway and try to find other humans to talk to. Therapy works for many people, but it is very common for someone to have to try out 2, 3 or even 5 therapists before finding the right one. It is a scary thing to tell a therapist your story, if you are not in the habit of talking about it at all.

I am writing this post in order to validate anyone that has a behavior pattern of never talking about their mental illness or their history of abuse. It may have been the rule of the abusers in our lives that we were not “allowed” to speak of these things, but the times have changed to new times.

If you are, however, still in an abusive situation, please be careful. You do need to be careful who you talk to about the abuser. Call a women’s shelter (or a men’s shelter). Talk to people on wordpress, but be careful to protect your identity.

If we can not speak then we have no voice. If we have no voice then who are we? We lose our identity.

Blessings to all and to all a good night 🙂

Annie

anxiety, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, health, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Showing Kindness and Compassion to Ourselves …posted in mental illness and abuse

self esteem

Once in a while, I get into a conversation with someone on WordPress that starts to turn onto a “future post”. In fact  it is not uncommon for me to end those conversations with “This sounds like a future blog post”

Through the interaction between intelligent minds, we can find ideas in ourselves that we would not have otherwise accessed. That is one of my favorite things about blogging.

So, today was one was of those times. Here was the last part of my conversation with an intelligent, thoughtful reader.

“You are welcome. More kindness is needed in the world.

The general lack of patience and kindness from the people we interact with, is one of the causes of anxiety disorders anyway.

Think about how you would feel if you would knew with 100 percent certainty, that everyone you ran into today would be kind and understanding with you and try their best to help you, no matter what you did and no matter what your history was with them?

It is nearly impossible to picture, but if things were that way, I would not have nearly the trouble getting out of bed or leaving the house.  Every single scenario you fear in your mind, would be less frightening to deal with, if every person you interacted with all day, were compassionate to you.

Even if I knew that all of my family and everyone at work were patient, kind, understanding, and non judgemental with me, I would have an easier time leaving my house today.

The best thing is to be as kind and forgiving of yourself as you are of other people.  If they deserve your kindness, then so do you “

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I can barely picture this, but I can if I picture being in a  different world, in a multi-universe scenario.

If you take each thought in your head, one by one, you will see that most of your obsessive thoughts are about people not understanding you and not being patient with you. When you have anxiety about doing something, it has something to do with the possible unkind reaction of someone else. The constant judgement on us by others, is a huge source of anxiety.

Other things we have anxiety over, would be reduced, if other people were more compassionate. There are things that are not caused by other people, like the car breaking down, the winter weather , phobias and sickness. The simple idea of others being understanding of how those things affect us, would reduce our anxiety.

Imagine if when we were sick, we could call out of work without fearing retaliation of the boss. Imagine if when we were sick, one of our family members stepped in to help us with the kids

Imagine if the other drivers on the road were safety minded of others and courteous.

Imagine if everyone was understanding about mental illness and treated us in a way that would be helpful and not more hurtful. Imagine if the fact of having mental illness was treated with the same respect and compassion as a physical disability.

If people with psychological injury from abuse or trauma were treated with understanding, the resulting depression and anxiety would be easier to deal with. If therapists being truly compassionate for us as fellow human being, treatment would be more beneficial.

These are all things that would come out of people being less judgemental, less focused on their own agenda and more kind, compassionate, forgiving and understanding of others.

We need to be forgiving and compassionate to ourselves. If we feel that others are worthy of kindness and compassion from us, then are we not worthy of kindness from ourselves? There is no real reason for us to judge ourselves harshly. It is a conditioned response from the lack of kindness we have been exposed to.

Each of you is a special and valuable person. We are here in the world, not by mistake, but with a purpose. No one has the right to crush down your self esteem or make you feel like you are unworthy of success and happiness.

Blessings to each and every one 🙂

Annie

acoa, adult children of alcoholics, mental health, mental illness, neurology, psychology

Self Esteem and Mental Illness / Mental Abuse in Childhood

Mental Illness goes hand in hand with having  low self esteem. It is a circle that feeds itself.

The inability to do some of the basic things that other people can do, has an effect on our our self esteem. On the flip side, the low self esteem creates more depression and interferes with the chemistry in the brain.

 Self esteem is “an overall emotional judgement evaluation of his or her self worth.”  Wikidpedia

“It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent,”   “I am worthy”)…” Wikipedia

“… self-esteem is “the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness… the sum of self-confidence (a feeling of personal capacity) and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth).” Nathaniel  Branden 1969

Dr, Brandon, author of many self esteem books, talks about a person’s belief about their own ability to face challenges. If a person is fully confident in their own ability to deal with challenges , then they have high self esteem.

When we doubt our own ability to effectively tackle the daily challenges of life, we have low self esteem. Depression can be made worse by the fear that we cannot function effectively.

Many people have come from families that want their children to be competent and have the ability to support themselves as adults. The children are encouraged to do well and succeed in school and other activities. The children were rewarded for trying hard, following through and doing well. Thus they developed a pattern of success and feeling good about success.

Some people had dysfunctional childhoods. They did not have a supportive encouragement that built their self esteem. Yjeu were not prepared for dealing with the challenges of life.

Not only was  not rewarded for succeeding, we were undermined. I lived with an alcoholic mother who would wake me up on school nights and interfere with my sleep. In addition to that, even though she had money, she did not keep enough food in the house that I knew how to prepare myself.

She would go out drinking after work and not come home until late at night. Many days I did not have enough to eat to be able to concentrate well in school.

In my perception, it was more of a priority for me to take care of her, than to take care of myself and my schoolwork. I had to take over the childcare and chores that she would not do. As far as helping me with homework or praising me for good grades, that was non-existent.

I have observed that many people with mental illness had parents that were mentally abusive. The constant criticism and lack of respect interfered with the normal development of self esteem.

“Brandon further believed ,”It (self esteem)  exists as a consequence of the implicit judgment that every person has of their ability to face life’s challenges, to understand and solve problems, and their right to achieve happiness, and be given respect.[7]”  Wikipedia

Brandon mentions the “right” to happiness. People that grew up in abusive homes, were taught that they had no right to happiness. The only person that had rights was the abuser.

According to this model by Brandon, a person with high self esteem,  feels that he or she deserves to be respected.

 A person must have experienced  “being respected”, in  order to feel that they  “should be” respected by others or even themselves. When children grow up in an atmosphere of disrespect , they have trouble as an adult having the feeling that anyone will respect them.

The feeling of not deserving respect is a condition of low self esteem.

A constant feeling that people will not respect you , will not like you, and will not value your input, can turn into mental illness. The brain chemistry is configured during childhood to have low self esteem, which causes thinking patterns that are not the same as mentally healthy people.

The brain can be rewired as an adult. We do have the capacity to develop self esteem that we were not accustomed to as children and teenagers. In order to do this, we have to somehow override the programming already set up in our brains, The neurons in our brains are re-trainable to wire differently.

It can take years to fix this problem. First we have to identify that we have a self esteem problem. Then we have to recognize that it goes back to our childhood or perhaps to an abusive adult relationship.

After that we have to decide that we are worthy of feeling good about ourselves and it is just incorrect programming of our minds that has been there for a long time. To overcome the emotional and mental injury of abuse, we need to be proactive for ourselves.

I have been doing some research about re-wiring the brain through some holistic methods. I will post some ideas in upcoming blog posts, For now, just know that you are special and unique. You are worth the focused intention from yourself that is required to become more stable and to feel better about yourself.

All of us who have been through trauma, need some extra help. We all have something to offer to each other in terms of support, encouragement and intelligent ideas for recovery.

Blessing to all

Annie

abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Domestic Violence and Abuse Against Men

Domestic abuse of men is much less heard of  than that of women. It is not culturally accepted of believed that men can really be severely abused by women.

Women are considered the “weaker sex” therefor how could they inflict such damage upon men to be considered abusive? There are a lot of men, however that are in domestic abuse situations that are both mentally and physically dangerous to them. Men are sustain serious injury from objects being thrown at them and being attacked with heavy objects during the insane rage of a narcissistic partner.

Men do not tend to let anyone know when they are being abused. If a man is being physically abused by a wife or a girlfriend they feel that it will be embarrassing to tell anyone. In most cases his family and friends would not believe him. They may even laugh at him.  But domestic abuse, weather physical or mental abuse, is far from a laughing matter.

If a gentle, non-violent  man is subject to physical abuse by a woman,  he may not defend himself against her l attacks. There are women that hit, kick , throw things and burn their spouses. The men do not want to hit her back and they have no way to defend themselves. They allow themselves to be hit and injured and hope that it is just a one time occurance.

They fear that they will injure her if they try to physically defend themselves. Men in our society are also in danger of being accused of abuse. They may be in fear of leaving bruises on their attacker, in their attempt to defend themselves, that she will use against him. The men just cover up the scars and keep it a secret.

There are numerous reasons for a man not to leave the abusive relationship. He may feel that he still loves the person and wants to do better so that the abuse will stop. It is the same mindset that women have when they begin to believe that they deserve to be abused. The narcissist twists the mind of their victim into feeling that they are responsible for the anger of the abuser.

The victim believes that they did something to cause the abusers rage and that if they can mend their ways , the abuse will stop. The victim feels guilty and the abuser plays upon the guilt and feelings of worthlessness of the victim.

” boys are less likely to report
sexual abuse due to fear, anxiety associated with
being perceived as gay, the desire to appear selfreliant,
and the will to be independent.

• In a male-perpetrated assault, the male victim is more
likely to be strangled, beaten with closed fists, and
threatened with guns or other weapons.

• In a female-perpetrated assault, the male victim is
more likely to be kicked, slapped, or have objects
thrown at him.
American  Medical Association

Men are conditioned by society to be the strong and protective sex. They are taught never to see themselves as victims and that society will not believe their cries for help. it is not in the paradigm of the general population that men could be victims.

This makes it very difficult for men to seek help. They fear any stigma attached to male victims of physical abuse.

There are also situations of severe mental abuse of men by their partner. This is similar to the mental abuse of women by a male partner. The abuser criticized the victim and calls them names.

The victim can be manipulated about finances, work and seeking their own health care. Women who are abusers and also control the money may refuse for the victim to  have medical treatments, refuse for any mental health care, refuse food and other basic needs of a person’s well being.

There is also abuse of men by male partners and by family members who they live with. Males attack males with open fists, knives and other weapons. The attacks can be of a violent sexual nature as well.

With the economy being on a downturn, I would predict that the cases of men being abused will increase. As men find it harder and harder to get good paying jobs (or any job at all) they will have to settle for living with anyone who is willing to take them in.

The lack of being able to support themselves will reduce the choices they have as well as reduce their self esteem. The loss of self esteem open someone up to allowing a narcissistic person to have control.

Some men are afraid to leave  because the wife threatens to abuse the children or cut off his contact with the children. This is emotional and mental terrorism. The domestic abuse helpline is for help with this kind of abuse.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime

men experience many of the same psychological
reactions to violence as women. These include:
• Guilt, shame, and humiliation
• Anger and anxiety
• Depression
• Withdrawal from relationships

I have put  some links below that could be helpful to men who need to seek help. The denial and fear of seeking help could end in someone’s death and will most certainly continue to destroy their mental health and well being.

The statistics gathered by the National Coalition Against Domestic  Violence are that 1 in every 14 men has been physically abused by a partner.

Domestic Abuse HelpLine 1-888-743-5754 (this is a Help line to assist men to get out of abusive relationships and find resources for help with any legal issues , financial and housing problems that can occur. They can guide you to the proper help if you are under threat from someone that threaten to abuse your children or keep them from you if you leave.)

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-men.htm

http://www.ncadv.org/files/MaleVictims.pdf

http://www.batteredmen.com/bathelpnatl.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/domestic-violence-against-men/art-20045149

http://www.medicaldaily.com/domestic-violence-against-men-women-more-likely-be-intimate-terrorists-controlling-behavior-290662

http://www.batteredmen.com/

abnormal psychology, anxiety, depression, health, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, neurology, psychology, social anxiety

Mental Illness caused by Psychological Damage and Abuse

* this post is in honor of Silvergirl who is a wonderful wounded healer and has an excellent blog on wordpress*

People with mental illness often have psychological damage from being subject to “Situations that Must never Be”.  This is my phrase for any situation which is causing log term damage to a person in any physical or mental way.

These situations that must never be, are many and come in many forms. Any situation of mental abuse or physical abuse of a person should not be. The sad fact is that these situations occur every day. People are suffering in relationships like these as we speak. You might be one of them.

You have chosen to click on this post because the title of it struck a nerve with you. Most likely you have been abused in your lifetime. It may have been during your childhood and / or it may have been as an adult. Many people that were abused as children , end up in abusive relationships as adults.

The psychological damage from living in abuse is extensive and can cause depression, severe anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. It is also common that people with other mental disorders such as depersonalization disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder , social anxiety and  insomnia have experienced abuse during their lifetimes.

As people with mental illness, we sometimes make choices that are harmful to us that other people would not make. We are so used to things being abnormal and painful that we tend to not notice the red flags of an abusive relationship until it is too late.

The mental illness causes us to end up in codependent , manipulative, abusive relationships. On the flip side, these relationships that cause severe mental suffering break our poor brains and we end up with mental illness that we may not have already had.

Which one comes first? The mental illness, the psychological damage, the abusive relationships? It is hard for us to tell. If you think back through your past , if you can remember, then you will most likely identify abuse against your mental health. 

Situations of trauma cause PTSD. The people who tend to be the most affected are the ones who have had some kind of mental trauma in their past.

There are cases of severe trauma (like military horrors,)  that can cause PTSD , even of the person had a “normal” past. But a lot of the people who endure ptsd that never seems to go away, had some form of abuse prior to that trauma.

It is sometimes difficult to identify abuse from our past/ For some people it is glaringly obvious and for others it has been blocked out by their own brain. The brain wants to protect itself from further trauma and will black out memories and deny us access to them.

People with psychological damage often have more than 1 or 2 mental disorders. Some of us have so many that we feel kind of stupid “showing off our list” to people.

It feels like it will be disbelieved to write out the list such as…

…OCD, insomnia, depersonalization disorder, PTSD,  generalized anxiety disorder, domestic abuse victim, depression,  ACOA, eating disorder,  codependence,  social anxiety and derealization disorder, and avoidant personality disorder.

 See? …Now I feel weird.  My list  looks crazy to me… Really I look at that list and wonder how the hell I get through the day at all…barely by the skin of my teeth sometimes… that is …when i am able to get out of bed…

You are not alone if your list looks as long as mine does. My mental abuse goes back into childhood and I also had abuse as an adult victim of domestic abuse.  Things that occur in life that other people could “suck it up” about and get through, send me into severe post traumatic stress.

anxiety, depression, life, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness

Trying to Get My Body Out of This Bed / posted in depression and anxiety

Time to get out of bed. The anxiety has got me feeling like staying inside all the time. It is getting harder to leave the house. I have been on the bed for a few days. It is time to get up and make dinner. I will try to take my daughter out to the mall tonight. She wants to look at something to try on sizes.

I think once I get to the mall I will be okay. It is getting up and getting dressed that is the difficult part. Maybe I should take a shower and fix my hair a little. I have written pots about self care before. Taking care of personal care is very important to combat depression.

If you take a shower and put on a little make up, brush your hair, then you feel better. It is easy to neglect those things when you feel beaten down by the world. It is easy for people to say, “just get up and brush yourself off and jump back into the game”

But since I tell all of you to try to take care of yourself, then I better do it. I am going to crawl out of bed now and take a shower. Maybe I will put on some make up, fix my hair and post a picture later, That will give me a reason to try.

Love to all of you. We can keep going, one day at a time. Life is hard and some people are mean but there are still people who care and people to care about. That is what keeps me going.

Blessings to all

Annie

family, life, relationships, religion

Dignity, Self Respect and Self Esteem

If you are in a relationship that requires you to lose your self respect, your self esteem or your dignity then it is not healthy.  You deserve to live a life that is dignified, not be treated like you are less worthy than someone else.

Your self respect is critical to your wellness and to your survival in this world. There is no good reason for someone you are in a relationship with to strip you of your self respect .

This applies to romantic relationships and also other relationships. You should not be made to feel disrespected at work, in friendships, social groups , at church or online. You deserve to be treated in a respectful manner and like you are a valueable person.

If someone think so badly of you then why are they with you? What does that say about them?

We only have one life here to live and there is no time to waste feeling bad about yourself. It keeps you from being your best and being yourself.