Work to heal childhood abandonment & rejection
I have been doing healing work using Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz' 4 steps. I have made progress. But healing progress means that as I heal more and deeper wounds are revealed to be healed. So paradoxically, the more healing I experience the more pain I experience. But only in going into this pain can I experience healing.
The healing is necessary because the pain has ruled my life. It has been so great that I have lived for many years in a form of shut down. That is not living.
My emotional pain is help in specific places in my body. I feel it. The places accessible to be worked on at this time is the sinus cavity behind my left eyebrow and my throat area, probably my thyroid.
I have begun using meditation that I have practices off and on across the years but that my pain has been so great as to actually heighten during meditation. Now I am focusing on the Light of Christ and a healing voice. Holding this light present with the pain is difficult but it dissolves it. I believe that with daily repetition I will see true shifts in healing in 11 weeks. And so I begin this 11 week work today.
This pain I live with is from childhood and it works and operates in me in childish ways. It is not rational and does not respond to reason. My adult mind has gone after it with reason. Spiritual healing accessed by prayer goes around the reason to get at the wounds that were processed by a child unaware of what what happening to her but feeling the pain acutely and believing that it was because I was bad and worth little.
This is a lonely journey. I hope the healing will also bring connection with others.
I have a bad habit about running threads that only I post to but then again I find this posting to be extremely therapeutic. It allows me to get it out and it makes the pain more concrete and less amorphous.
Today is an extremely painful day as I take the top off of the box and let stuffed, repressed stuff emerge. I expose my physical pain to the healing light and believe that through this process I am changing neurons and the response that I have had life-long.
As a young adult/college student, I remember that I experienced this pain and would hear myself repeat the phrases, "I hate you" and "commit suicide" (the latter not as a command but as a release/relief. As these phrases came out I would feel my head banging against an imaginary wall. There is so much about this that I understand now that I could write many chapters on it but today I want to acknowledge how the pain would come to the surface and what I did with it. The pain was so intolerable that it either shut me down or I repressed it in order to function. The way I repressed it was sort of like pressing the accelerator on a car when the wheel is stuck in mud. It doesn't get me out, it makes it worse. I think that externally it made me come across like a bull in a china shop, which resulted in getting more rejection exacerbating what I had already experienced. And the pain grew and was repressed and created more and the cycled repeated and repeated and repeated until the yuck seeped out of the seams, no longer repressible and the pain growing and the functioning decreasing.
Today, I open the box and expose it to the healing light. i commit to doing this for 77 days. That is the period of time that Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz says it takes for the brain to rewire. He has demonstrated this with the use of fMRIs.
That knowledge helps me enormously as otherwise it would be an indefinite period with no end and I would not be able to stick to it. I am discovering that projects that take place over an extended period of time are difficult because the anxiety ratchets up as the time increases. Today I got some insight into how and why that happens. This healing light process will help with that.
I have to remind myself that the first few weeks are very slow. Then there will be a great week and I will feel as though I am in the clearing only to get knocked hard again with another week or two of slow going - where the repressed felling of excruciating pain need constant attention to alleviate.
It is a scary process. The fear of failure and worthlessness are powerfully present. They are some of what is being presented for healing. Being present to them is necessary but wretched. I believe that I will have the stamina and ability to keep the box opened and focus and refocus the healing light.
Daily meditations - envision a healing male presence placing his right thumb across my left eyebrow and the right fingers around my left ear and head.
Through his presence the Light of Christ enters.
As memories stream across my vision the trauma and adrenal response are abated and then this morning something which seemed miraculous to me, a glimpse of order ensued. In an instant, I saw that the order that has eluded me is within rather than external. I have known this rationally but in this instant I could see it. I saw how that trauma has created disorder within my brain and the external jumble of my life has been set to match the internal.
In a haze, I saw order being restored in my home. Order cannot be exerted over chaos. The foundation must be orderly. This healing process is bringing order internally. Focus on the healing. All else will follow from that.
As this order continues to be created in my mind and in my brain, I am incentivized to go forward - a marked shift from my life of refrain, restraint, punishment and fear.
More deeply submerged pain emerges.
The pain is so disgusting.
The loneliness and aloneness, overwhelming.
See the lengthy repetition of rejection and setup, over and over. The pleasure taken in my failure and rejection.
I have lost my vision of the way out so I hold to the image of the light with the belief that it is hidden behind the cloud of rejection and pain.
Hypothyroidism is symptomatically getting much worse. It must be th adrenal drain on it all. The fatigue is cutting into my healing visions. The loneliness is the worst of all.
(I must not be surprised that some days get worse. It is not a purely uphill climb out, there are dips along the way and in these dips I find somethings that will help me on my journey home to healing.)
Today I am not able to tap into that remarkable feeling of the healing light. I do believe that my low functioning thyroid is negatively affecting my brain. I will do something about that now. But I also have decided to keep my focus on the light. yesterday I found that I was working at a 1:1 exchange. In other words I received about an hours relief for each hour of attention on the image of receiving the light. I had an insight that that ration would increase dramatically as my practice increased.
The holiday time is difficult for me. It brings up old expectations and beliefs that lurk below my awareness and can do some nasty things. The issue of rejection and isolation touches much. It connects to the concept of not having enough resources of being left to fend for myself. This comes from my life-experience but when I have switched my brain MY reality will no longer by ruled by that. It is false and the feelings that go with it are impulses that repeat the brain pattern so naming them false and replacing them with the healing light is one way to rewire. The habit is keen, focus on the habit rather than the feeling. Trust and repeat.
I was ordering some thyroid medicine and got this incredible sense that when I get it I will be ok. Then like a switch I felt ok. This has toggled off and on. But it is the on that I concentrate on.
I see that I have a fear of the off. But yesterday the focus on the light kept the switch on. As I am leaving the computer and going about daily chores (a great fear enducer - drums of trauma triggers of being belittled and humiliated - I see that my FEAR of the triggers and failure is driving this boat. I will focus on the switch - of what it feels like when I am cured. Then I can simply step into the cure.
It was a good day. I was able to switch back to what it would be like if rather than being caught in the fear or anxiety or dread. That is the legacy of having lived a childhood of infinite small traumas. I am so thankful to have found a method to repair the automatic neural reactions to patterned impulses. 77 days to a functioning brain. 64 days in to the first process and 4 into the second. Order is approaching. I can see it and feel it. It comes from release rather than determination. Determination is a millstone around my neck.
You are not alone. Keep up the work, it's hard, but transforming. You asked to open the pain to heal. There was so much garbage you stuffed down for so long. Brave you today as an adult will face it It's ugly, but you have the grit to beat it and let it go. Today is a hard day, but you are going to pass it and the sun is going to shine on you again.
You have written thing to enlighten me and warn me if I dig in to past pain, it will hurt, but it is a step in the release. I can't carry this baggage forever. There's too much good stuff I need to be holding on too.
Moving Forward - thank you for your post. It is a true gift. Just to make that connection with a fellow traveler.
I'm glad you liked my gift:d
Tis the season...
To confront the Ghosts of Christmas Past, (you can do it!)
Question the Ghosts of Christmas Present.
And, view the Ghosts of the possible future.
What memories do you want to stay around, what tradition should you let go, what do you want for your future and to pass on? Your in control of this Christmas.
Moving Forward - I love your questions. They are more penetrating for me that they first appeared. I don't know my own answers readily. Thanks for asking.
Yesterday I received some significant insights. The short story is that some things I have struggled with life-long are beginning to coalesce. The connection between mind and body showed me how my hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue are contributing to my emotional struggles as well. The brain is powerfully effected by the endocrine system and vice versa. Both of mine have been out of whack for many years.
I believe that the stress that I lived under as a child began depleting my adrenals at a very young age. And while I have little information about causal relationships between adrenal depletion and hypothyroidism I do know there is a correlation. Whether one can cause the other or not is immaterial as I do know that the stress that I live with is actually exacerbated by the emotional triggers which are off the scales on sensitivity.
I have begun, as part of this healing process, to work on getting help for my thyroid and adrenal glands. I am looking for a doctor who recognizes the T-3 indicators as the ultimate factors.
Meanwhile, I am continuing the meditation and visualizing the shining light which controls the stressors. This morning I felt a stone wall being fortified against daily life activities that have caused me indescribable pain for so many years. It is making so much sense to me now.
For many years I have been aware that simple chores triggered extreme shame and caused me to shut down. As this new meditation began to cast light on my thyroid and then adrenals I saw immediately how my brain has reacted to deeply patterned impulses to release cortisol and adrenaline and other hormones and neurotransmitters. The level of discomfort is truly indescribable and is not believable unless you had experienced it as have I.
This could change my entire life. To have that glimpse of what life could be like while fortified against these surges, to be protected from the debilitating power that comes with the anxiety charges generates a hope that is grounded in some brief experience. I look to recreate that feeling of strength and confidence. This is what being driven could be about for me. Up until this morning - "being driven" would have always been about more surges. That was the only concept I had of energy. And they were always associated with shame, humiliation and failure.
I open my heart and my soul to receive the Light of Christ and his healing wonders. I acknowledge the presence of fear and release it. And I give thanks.
As I began working on this thread and I accompanied it with morning meditations I began seeing that my thyroid and adrenal glands were contributing to my emotional fragility. I would make progress but it was tenuous and difficult to hold on to.
Now that I have both a physical and emotional component to work on I am feeling as though I have a strong foundation to work with and strong framework. In fact this morning as I meditated I felt as though I were a sturdy framework. That is very, very new for me.
I am even further along the road to healing with great thanks.
Much healing takes place when one sees that those that hurt you were hurting themselves badly. You were a victim of their own disillusionment.
Love doesn't "abandon". A person doing that has no love for self and can't love another. That person is hurting just like you, maybe more with the self-hatred of abandoning you.
Everyone is on a journey to reconcile these evils in life. You're trying to regain your mental wholeness so that you can let go and not find your self-worth as "abandoned child". You're not "abandoned child". You are you, the past is gone, today is all you got.
The real problem isn't the abandonment but that you don't love yourself. You don't know yourself. If you don't love yourself then you can maybe imagine the mental torture of the one that abandoned you?
Do you feel self-absorbed right now, trying to find a way out of your pit? Yes, I imagine so. Can you imagine that the person that abandoned you was also in a pit? Is that person's mental health really your identity because abandonment was a manifestation of that person's health?
You got a raw deal, no doubt. Can't change that. You can only change your understanding of self and life and no judge yourself or anyone anymore. If we all knew better, we would do better! :):)
This is a great quote on letting go...my favorite...
"Letting Go"...A Beautiful Quote and The Heart of Profound-Self-Help.com
Most of the stuff is from deceased family and hasn't been sifted through in years. I feel pressured to preserve their history and tradition by keeping their holiday relics and incorporating it in my life. I don't want to be bogged down with a lot of Christmas crap jammed in boxes the rest of the year.
I am confronting disorder and will organize and value what I keep and I will discard the junk.
It is so reflective of what I am doing inside.
RonSouth has great things to say. I encourage you GreekDog to push past your pain.
I have yet to truly confront the pain of my past but I know the healing needs to happen. Hearing about your journey makes me hopeful and yes.. it is a lonely one. Thanks for shining some light :)
Ron - I agree with much of what you have written. I hold no animosity towards those who were not able to nurture me. And I am thankful to recognize that only I can do something about my life now. No one else needs to change in order for me to get what I need - just me.
I've come to believe that the effects of chronically repeated trauma causes a patterning on the brain which furthermore effects the entire endocrine system. This pattern can be altered but if not altered can have a powerful effect on one's life and one's perspective. I am experimenting to see if supporting the endocrine system along with using the mind these patterns can be replaced by healthier ones that permit a more productive life.
You have the best and cutest avatar on the whole forum!!!
That makes me smile iDreamCatcher.
That is Mr. Personality who came home with my husband and me from the Greek isles in 1997. He always makes me smile!
Moving Forward -
Partaker - I have worked on these issues for many years and finally I have found something that works for me. 11 weeks is relatively fast and yet the day to day seems slow. But week by week I see real progress. Never before have I experience clear, delineated progress week after week. I am very hopeful about today and the future. For the first time in my life I am able to look the pain of my life right in the face and not be utterly bowled over. I am feeling drained and tired but I am still standing and functioning and that is quite a feat. I send you courage to find the healing process that works best for you. Thanks for posting.
I am seeing the cross roads of the physical and emotional state and working on both towards a central healing. In the evenings and early morning hours I focus on energy and light healing in specific areas that call out for healing. For example, the past few days the areas of my throat and neck. As I hold the image of light and energy on these areas I feel something happening inside, some kind of shift or movement or release. As the thyroid is located in the throat and I suffer from hypothyroid at times I focus the energy there but it tends to move around.
As I do this, thoughts and memories that are painful come to the surface and I then return my focus to the energy/light. I think this is a process of healing both the physical and the memory.
I have come so far and have so much father to go.
Insight: One great fear is not having "enough" to accomplish a particular goal or task. One of the resources I fear not having enough of is energy. My hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue have sapped much of this. Healing and restoration of these glands will be very important.
Astonishing dream - I cannot remember the prelude to this scene but I sent to the front door and as I passed through the louvered french doors to get to the front hall I saw that I had been cleaned out. Not a stick of furniture was left. Stunned, unable to speak, I opened the front door and saw a beautiful lawn had replaced the unkempt mass of weeds that has replaced what once was a lawn.
I was immobilized with horror at having been robbed. I dialed 911 but was unable to say anything.
Eleven days is like the first day of a week. It is one seventh of the way along the process. I have been a little fuzzy on my purpose here and want to clarify so that my focus is razor sharp.
Overcome exhaustion - physically heal thyroid and adrenals; heal emotional fear/expectation of "not enough" energy (and other resources);
Generate order - emotional and physical and time wise (create schedule/plan)
I have decided to add EFT to my regimen. I have used it in the past but I am going to return to the original full length process that John details on www.healingptsd.com. When I began it today, it really stirred up a hornet's nest which can be a signal that it is just the thing. Time and persistence will tell.
Pressing forward in creating order.
This morning I felt my trapezoidal muscles clinch tightly and I knew that for my entire life that clinching was an automatic tension done in response to the wretched release of epinephrine and nor epinephrine. Over the years that has created such tension and exhaustion.
I am now using supplements to support my thyroid and adrenals, EFT for the resistance/shutdown/adrenal release concerning creating order, along with Schwartz' 4 Steps.
As I do this I grow stronger while simultaneously seeing more and more of what has been repressed and suppressed. As that repression is lifted the pain surges. It feels like a bloody battle field. I keep going healing one step, being battered in another. It feels like zero sum but in truth there is great progress - just so much more to go and that is why the results feel like no progress.
I must hang tough and keep going. Reaching out for support and encouragement.
Today I get to do something different. I am pushing myself through paralysis. Schwartz says that action is the key to changing the brain structure. For the past hour I have been taking a break but I want to push myself forward and accomplish two more things before hanging it up for the afternoon. This is where I slip down low into oblivion. The key today is to push forward. That is where the healing is.
Keep up the hard work! Hoping you were able to push past!
I loved the image of your dream. Everything was taken, but you decide how to recreate your new home. You are choosing order this time. It may be a slow process, but you are progressing.
Moving Forward - you are a generous giver. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
The first few weeks, doing the necessary work was easy because the anxiety levels were so high. Now the work is more difficult because what has replaced the anxiety levels, the rush of adrenaline, is exhaustion. It is no wonder. But none-the-less, anxiety is so wretched that it calls for resolution. Exhaustion/fatigue tends to draw me into retreat which is the very problem that I an working to overcome - retreat from the world.
But this is simply one more step in the entire healing process. I completely understand ow fatigue came into play. I must be thankful that the adrenaline rush has stopped. Though the fatigue shuts me down as the adrenals and thyroid are supported all of this will move on as well.
I intend to keep up the same level of attention through the fatigue period as I did during the last period. I do hope that the fatigue period is not a full 11 weeks. One of the other things that comes with he fatigue is a deep and painful sadness and loneliness. The emotions, especially at Christmas are lonely. But perhaps that feeling of loneliness and being alone will be the empetise to do the work that will propel me through this stage and on towards healing and health.
The pain of this loneliness is truly extreme. And the difficulty in executing daily responsibilities during fatigue is very high. I will work hard as that might keep me lifted above depression.
I chose to intend to connect with some social life. I have had none for over 10 years. I cannot foresee how to integrate back into society but I will put it out as an intention.
GreekDog, keep going! I love how you're expressing yourself! Behind the darkness is the light! :d:d:d:d
Ron I thank you for your encouragement.
This journey is fascinating if not pleasant. I am learning so much about myself. I just reread one of your earlier posts on this thread and found value and comfort in it.
Love is a critical part of the healing.
As I continue on in this process I am finding a kind of OCD loop that has physiological underpinnings. I can use the techniques that have been working so far to push through these loops. That is where the healing is.
In order to get through these I must first identify the impulses and related thoughts. That will be an important task in this process.
One of those impulse/thoughts is to hide
Here is another message that was internalized long ago and lives and has power still:
"You are in the way." "Your apology will not be accepted." "Your apology will be a launching pad for a personal attack." "Your thoughts and ideas are worthless and deserving of ridicule."
which is related to expectation of rejection.
Both of these come from past experience but they are not correct for today, they are false in relationship to today's experience. Call them so and replace them.
This kind of healing can be instantaneous or quite protracted. Unfortunately for me mine seems to be the latter.
I am very thankful to have cleared the anxiety/adrenaline phase but I do hate where that has left me - in a state of exhaustion and lethargy.
But because I view this as a place along the healing path I am able to tolerate it.
I find myself in a place of extreme loneliness as I deal with healing the rejection and abandonment. One of the things about this healing process that I have experienced is that as I enter a phase of healing the experience is felt more acutely, more intensely. Right now the feelings of abandonment and rejection are intense and excruciating. There is such a feeling of worthlessness that accompanies all of this as well.
I will persevere because of my hope for what might be on the other side.
Thank you for this thread. I struggle with some of the same issues, especially the voices in my head and having chores trigger me to shut down.
Here and now, you've got so awesome friends! In the past you had pain and the memories are torture, yes, but today is your life, now, and in this moment you are embraced by multitudes of fellow travellers!
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