Sunday, July 24, 2022

What is Your Ikigai?

 Excellent article about purpose and happiness:

Saturday, June 25, 2022

To Talk Less and Listen More

 Hello.  Happy Saturday.

I used to write a lot in this blog.  Then I stopped completely for a few years.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  Instead, I set New Year's goals.  So whatever year I stopped writing, I set a goal to talk less and listen more.  I decided this included blogging; not saying all kinds of things for other people to read, but listening to what people said.  Said to me and around me.

That practice helped me a lot.  It became somewhat of a habit.  I would listen more completely when my boss explained what she wanted me to do.  I would listen to people telling me something without interrupting.  It made me feel humble in a good way.  Like, what I have to say here is not more important than what this other person is trying to say to me.

To talk less and listen more also helped me from popping off at the mouth and spurting out things... things I would later be embarrassed about or feel sooooo stupid for having said.  Not saying words eliminates the concern of accidentally saying stupid words.  I did not have to worry about saying things and then wondering obsessively over what someone thought about what I'd said.  Less worrying I'd offended somebody, come across as rude, or hurt someone.  Talking less and listening more freed me from wondering if I needed to go back and re-explain something or if I should just leave it alone.

So, talking less and listening more gave me peace.  Freedom from worry and from mentally scrutinizing and criticizing my every action.  Because that has long been a bad habit of mine; overthinking and picking myself apart.  That comes as part of the lasting soul stain of having been in a very, very emotionally abusive relationship while I lived in Texas.  But that's another long story and very, very upsetting to bring up in my mind.  Like, seriously.  But anyway. that's where a lot of that thinking is rooted.

So, that first year passed and I kept going.  Not wanting to speak or write my own thoughts for other people to read, but listening more carefully to what other people had to say.

I have kind of faded away from that.  Meaning, I don't remember as much to talk less and listen more.  I would like to remember to focus on doing that because it helped me a lot and I felt a lot better emotionally.

Anyway, so that's why I stopped blogging.  I might pick it up again, maybe a little bit.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

PTRS notes

I am having extreme, almost overwhelming (flashbacks?) from a terrible past relationship.  Triggers in tv shows I watched tonight.  So I looked some stuff up and here it is.

These are not original thoughts; they are cut and pasted from websites.  I just want to get them down in one place.  And I'm not citing my sources; just acknowledging.

Some words are from me.

PTRS doesn’t involve the same avoidance that characterizes PTSD.

With PTRS, you may find yourself unable to avoid memories or reminders of the traumatic relationship, and you remain fully aware of what happened. Since you can’t numb yourself to the distress, you might cope by trying to manage your emotional response instead.

PTRS differs from PTSD in a few other key ways:

A diagnosis of PTSD involves experiencing or witnessing a threat of physical harm, including injury or death. You can experience PTRS without ever facing physical harm.
PTSD diagnostic criteria don’t list any specific symptoms for people who experience relationship trauma, while symptoms of PTRS center around relationship trauma and its long-term effects.
Key symptoms of PTRS include rage, horror, and fear toward the abusive partner. With PTSD, you might experience anger or rage, but this isn’t a key symptom for everyone.

an initial response of terror, horror, and rage toward the abusive partner
intrusive, arousal, and relational symptoms that began after the abuse

Anything that leads you to re-experience the trauma can fall into the category of intrusive symptoms.

This might include:

flashbacks, or feeling as if you’re experiencing the abuse in the present moment
intrusive thoughts or rumination
fear and other emotional distress when remembering the abuse
physical sensations of anxiety, such as a pounding heart, shaking, or sweating palms, when remembering the abuse

With traumatic stress, your body remains in a near constant state of hyperarousal to leave you better prepared to respond to the threat of abuse.

The hormones involved can:

contribute to insomnia and other sleep problems
leave you on edge and struggling to concentrate
lead to restlessness, irritability, and anger
trigger feelings of panic or anxiety
Remaining vigilant to any possible threat can leave you constantly on edge, unable to relax or feel safe. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy routines, like eating balanced meals or getting enough sleep.

 Due to the slow and insidious nature of PTRS, you might not notice symptoms until after the relationship ends. The relational patterns and relationship itself, rather than a single event, become the trauma. You may notice that you have lower self-esteem, blame yourself for relational troubles, or feel more insecure than you once did.2 PTSD and PTRS share their foundational impact: A belief after experiencing the trauma that the world is unsafe.

Relationship PTSD can be difficult to recognize because it typically happens over a long period of time instead of one traumatic event (the difference between Complex PTSD and typical PTSD). As a result, PTRS can include a pervasive sense of feeling unsafe, out of control, shame or guilt, and thoughts that feel like they come out of nowhere and are difficult to get rid of.

Intrusive Symptoms of PTRS
Intrusive symptoms are symptoms related to re-experiencing trauma, including:1,4

Thoughts about the trauma that feel like they come out of nowhere
Flashbacks or feeling like you’re reliving the experience(s) in the form of images, intrusive thoughts, or daydreams
Nightmares or dreams about the trauma, whether in the context of the dream or just consistent negative or scared feelings in the dreams
Feeling extreme distress when reminded of the trauma by either the person in the relationship or a reminder of the perpetrator
Emotional responses that are overblown considering the current emotional stressor
Arousal Symptoms of PTRS
Arousal symptoms are symptoms related to the fear response, including:

Increased irritability with little or no provocation
Insomnia, particularly difficulty falling or staying asleep
Hypervigilance or being “on guard” at all times but particularly when reminded of the trauma

“The way to heal from relational trauma is to engage in safe, loving relationships with safe, loving people. It is true that ‘love heals.’

Relationship PTSD Is Real—Here's How Experts Explain It
It's part of the fallout from having an abusive partner.

 "scared and intimidated and controlled"

"jealous and controlling" 

"little things you could do wrong that could take away from the happiness."

(sidebar from a different dark moment from a past friendship scenario:  "GO... HOME... NOW!!!")

Really?  REALLY?????????  That's enough of that.  I hope you're enjoying your life now and the fat, fantastic way all THAT turned out.  I was never able to be directly honest with or express anger toward you either.  C'est la vie.  No, fuck it!

People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. "They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people," Dr. Tendler says. Those with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.

"I remind trauma survivors that they are not alone and that feelings of shame and guilt after enduring trauma are normal," 

She also explains to them why this occurs by discussing changes in the brain, 

tend to blame themselves when a loved and trusted individual TREATS THEM as subservient and routinely gaslights and dejects them.

Any kind of abuse—whether it be physical, emotional, mental, sexual, etc.—can lead to PTSD, as abuse is a highly emotionally distressing experience.
The overactivation of stress hormones causes the victim of abuse to experience a fight, flight or freeze response, which makes it near impossible for the individual to focus on anything else.
PTSD symptoms like hypervigilance, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and trouble concentrating.
A major key to healing from the abuse and alleviating harmful symptoms of PTSD is working with a counselor.
But right now I don't want to be mooshy touchy feely happy loving and healing.  Right now I am ANGRY and I want to FEEL and BE angry.  So, right now I am not looking for a solution.  Right now I am just learning about the problem.  I hate the problem.

Codependency robs us of a self and of self-love. We’ve learned to conceal who we really are

pleasing, rebelling against, or withdrawing from 

I listened to this song yesterday and I tear up every time I listen to it. Its helping me come in terms with with what I've been through. Really recommend it. Sending love your way <3

Posted by
4 days ago


Today is a good day. I feel so incredibly free and content, truly content. I don't need to worry about things I say, the longing feeling for you isn't there, I don't care who you might be with, what you might be doing, if you're happier than I am, if you think about me. I made the right decision to not give up my whole life to please you forever. I was so close to doing it but thankfully you crossed boundaries where I never will give anybody a way out of. I can focus on people who actually like and love me, who treat me like a normal person, who believe I deserve love and can forgive my mistakes - something I always did with you to an extent where I accepted all the abuse to still show you what that feels like. I hope you figure out your life and become a better person for yourself and your future partners. But that's it. I don't want you back because the person I loved doesn't exist anymore. My shackles are broken, my mind no longer is a prisoner. I feel happy, I feel loved, I'm becoming a better person, advancing in life and people are showing me that I'm not the absolute filth of the earth you made me out to be. Has the last bad day passed concerning thoughts about us? Maybe, maybe not. But today is a good day and oh, how I have missed these kind of days. Today is a good day.

6 yr. ago
Uh. Yeah. This happened to me in an old relationship. It's hard to tell people how the words and actions of another can induce such fear, when it seems like the least traumatic situation. I had a very hard time coming to terms and getting over my experience, with panic attacks and flashbacks... and then trying to explain it to friends or family? It's hard.

Thankfully, our bodies and minds can heal :)

9 mo. ago
Abuse is abuse no matter who is doing it. I'm so sorry you had to live through this, as someone who has lived through an abusive relationship at the hands of a woman, societies reaction can sometimes be devastating to say the least.

9 mo. ago
You are not alone. And this is NOT uncommon. I am so sorry that you had this experience- I promise that this isn’t the usual for most lesbian relationships. But we do not escape the statistics.

Posted by
8 years ago
I wanted to list some warning signs of emotional abuse and/or manipulation. These might be smaller things that one lets slide. If these things are already happening, you might want to really take a look at your relationship.

You are nervous to tell your partner about very mundane things because you don’t know how they’ll react. This could be anything: going grocery shopping, receiving junk in the mail, talking to a friend on the phone, getting coffee. Any situation could potentially turn into a fight or a very negative response.

Gaslighting. This is when your partner seems to be convincing you that something did not happen or that certain things were not said. You may feel as if you need to keep a log of conversations to prove what happened.

OR you're too scared to contradict them... not that they will physically hurt you but because you're so tired of being screamed at and blamed... and not allowed to explain... or sick of feeling like you have to explain... circles and circles and circles... but it's always your fault your fault your fault....................

Impossible Rules. This is one I discovered on my own. This is when your partner creates rules or guidelines that either you cannot follow, or they change so frequently that you cannot keep up with them. 

You cannot have actions, emotions, and opinions that are not directed at your partner. You don’t like horror movies? This is an insult, because they love horror movies. You choose not to drink? You’re making them feel like a drunk and you should drink with them to prove you are okay with the action. You feel as if you can no longer have your own emotions anymore.

If you feel scared or threatened by your partner, they make you feel guilty about it. Let’s say your partner is screaming, they come towards you, and you shrink away. This makes them angry and they say – “Why are you moving away as if I’m going to hit you? How could you ever think that I was going to harm you?” Yeah this is just straight up wrong.

And OH the ACCUSATIONS!!!!!  I could go on and on and on and on.

And even though she died YEARS ago (literally, physically died of a heart attack) the memories and the fear the the anger and the terror are still there.

I hate her.  I hate how she made me feel.  I am angry.  I am deliriously angry.  I am also angry because I wAS NOT ALLOWED to express anger toward her!  I want to SCREAM at her but I had to always hold it in!!  NOOOO!!  It was ALWAYS my fault and she would get SOOO mad and always always leave and go sleep with somebody.  And stupid me always took her back.. always no, no, I still love you, it's okay, I'm sorry....

The last time was the time I did stand my ground and she hit me.  And that was it.  On the ground, I had this thought:  "I care about women in abusive relationships and long for them to get out of those relationships.  So I have to do that myself, to be able to say it happened to me and I ended it then and there."  And I called the police and she was arrested and then I was bad for having done that, she said.  Her mother hated me and thought I was a bitch for having her arrested, she said.  She had to stay in a cell all by herself and it was so cold and she was constantly terrified she would get raped by a guard, she said.

I say FUCK... HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM NOT SORRY!!!!!  I AM SO SICK OF BEING SORRY and SICK OF BEING SCARED even still today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd say she ruined my life but it WASN'T HERS TO RUIN!!!!! It is MY life and I've taken it BACK!!  Just every now and then I have to go through all this shit again because something reminds me and I explode inside... anxiety, anger, fear, frustration, etcetera, ad nauseum...........

It's over.  It's over.  It's years ago over.

It hurts.  It still hurts.

Good night.