Category Archives: Blogs

Opening Up and Confiding About Family Trauma Takes Courage and Commitment

327713620_7f950ffedd_z (1)I have been reading and collecting my favorite blogs for over 10 years. I have added many of them to my Addiction Recovery A-Z List. Several of my favorite bloggers deserve extra credit because they write well, write often, and write from the heart. I am one of those bloggers so I  know what I am reading.

About confiding about family trauma:

1.  One of my favorite bloggers for many years is Syd. Syd’s blog is I’m just F.I.N.E.—Recovery in Al-Anon. For this post, I’ve included his writing from: “More will be revealed”:

I took my mother-in-law for her doctor’s appointment today.  In the car, she began to tell me about the tests being done on her husband, who is still in hospital.  I have written here before that he has cirrhosis of the liver.  The doctors are doing a liver biopsy and some other tests as well.

I asked her if she thought alcohol was a factor in his liver disease.  And she opened up to talk to me as she has never done before.  She told me that my father-in-law would go on binges for days.  She said that she has been called every name in the book by him, been yelled at and belittled.  She also told me that her own father drank.  And she said that he did not want her to marry another man who drank.

All of this came as a huge “Ah-Ha” for me.  I could understand her anger over the years, her need for a perfect house,  her changeable moods.  It all made sense to me when I knew that she was a kindred soul–an adult child of an alcoholic who married an alcoholic.

I have been around my mother-in-law for all of my married life.  Yet, I never had this kind of conversation with her.  She kept her distress from her sister and from close friends.  And she kept it for all these years from me.  Now, I see her through different eyes.  I feel a level of compassion for her that I have for newcomers who arrive in pain.

She has persevered through a marriage of over 50 years, carrying around a secret that so many of us, who are affected by alcoholism, do.  She told me that the reason she stayed in the marriage was because of her daughter, my wife. And that decision no doubt had its ramifications for C.  Probably, what she isn’t aware of, is that she stayed for other reasons as well–hoping to change the alcoholic,  fear of abandonment, economic fears, pride, and a host of other emotions that keep us bound in an emotional prison.

I shared with her about my father.  I didn’t mention my wife as I won’t break her anonymity, even to her own mother.  I told her that I don’t know whether my dad was an alcoholic but that I also had a lot of unresolved emotions carried over from childhood.  And I told her that I have learned to detach from the belligerence of others by physically removing myself.  She said that she tunes out her husband’s yelling as best she can.

How I wish that she could have gotten into Al-Anon.  The conversation we had  made us both feel better.  As she put it, “We now know something about each other that we didn’t before.” How very true.  More will be revealed.

Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours. ~ Melody Beattie

2.  From Nel writing at Discovering Serenity. Repost below is from Talking About Trauma:Is it necessary to heal?”

Today, I was asked a question by a therapist-friend of mine, who knows I am a survivor of trauma, but does not know that I am DID.  I was explaining that sometimes I get “stuck” in the healing process, like I plateau and I’m moving forward but I don’t feel like I’m making progress.  I explained to her that I get stuck usually in fear, and the emotion overcomes me.  I am unable to process memories with my therapist at that point.  They just swirl around in my head.

She asked, “Do you have to talk about the memories to move past them?”

I answered with a very strong YES!  Although, as one of “The Regulars” I don’t have clear memories of the abuse, someone else does.  And they really feel like it is important to talk about it to “move on” (or whatever you call healing).  My therapist-friend felt that in her professional experience, it wasn’t always necessary to process the trauma, but more important to learn and implement coping skills.

I agree that healthy coping skills are important.  Grounding.  Containment.  Hobbies.  Distraction.  Relaxation.  But without processing the trauma, I know I will never move on.  I need to talk about it with my therapist.  In detail, including feeling the feelings no matter how overwhelming they are.  Once and for all.  I don’t know if that’s just different for me, or if it is different because I’m DID, or if it’s different because I’m dealing with Complex Trauma.  Or all three?

3.  From Laura Giles writing at LauraGiles.net, I included the following excerpt: An Overview of Trauma:

The experience of trauma is different for different people. Some people bounce back very quickly from rape, for example, while others experience symptoms for years afterward. Losing a puppy may be a short-lived heartache for some, but others experience it as a life-changing event. Here are some events that may cause trauma: military combat, sexual assault, mugging, kidnapping, terrorist attacks, torture, prison, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes, severe accidents, or being told you have a life threatening illness.

Trauma is not limited to events that you experience directly however. A person can be traumatized by witnessing something horrible such as a car accident or finding a dead body. Trauma can also occur when there is no violence as well, such as being verbally assaulted or locked in a closet. If there is a strong emotional reaction to an event, trauma may result- particularly if there is no intervention immediately following the event.

The common symptoms that most trauma sufferers go through are: re-experiencing the event through nightmares or flashbacks, avoiding thinking or talking about what happened, feeling emotionally numb, feeling helpless about the future, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, relationship issues- especially with those who are close, irritability, anger, guilt, shame, self-destructive thoughts or behaviors, trouble sleeping, being easily startled, feeling afraid for no apparent reason, and hearing or seeing things that aren’t there. Symptoms generally appear shortly after the event, but it’s not unusual for them to be delayed months or even years. Symptoms may come and go. If symptoms persist for a month or more, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), so it’s time to get help.

Photo credit.

Business Blogs Help Us to Expand Our Big Picture Overview

496631023_5d8e50a068_zAbout creativity--From Fast Company– “Can Creativity Really be Taught?“:

But what’s all this hoopla about creativity about? Can it really be learned? Gerard Puccio, chairman of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College seems to think so. “You are seeing more attention to creativity at universities,” according to Puccio. “The marketplace is demanding it.”

A partner at the publishing company FourSight, Puccio has created a four-prong method used by businesses and in classrooms to help promote and demystify the creative process. According to FourSight, individuals each tend to gravitate toward one of four of these steps as their primary mode of thinking. Understanding which one of these four steps you most gravitate toward, according to them, can help you and your team strike a better balance:

1. FIRST, CLARIFY.

This involves identifying the problem or challenge at hand. Knowing what question to ask is key so that you know what problem you’re addressing. “If you don’t have the right frame for the situation, it’s difficult to come up with a breakthrough,” says Puccio

2. BEFORE YOU CREATE, IDEATE.

“Ideating” is just a bit of puffery for what’s essentially brainstorming or throwing ideas out there.

3. BEGIN TO DEVELOP.

When you enter the stage of developing, you’re building out potential solutions. Part of this process may very well involve failing and having to start from square one. Be prepared.

4. IMPLEMENT IT.

Convincing others that your idea is worth its salt is where implementing comes into play.

While creativity itself can’t be taught, proponents of creative studies programs believe they can offer techniques that get you thinking in new and exciting ways.

About branding–From Entrepreneur-“The Pitfalls of Personal Branding” by Steve Tobak:

One of the key tenets of personal branding is to build an identity that stands out and gets noticed. At least, that’s the theory. The problem is that the pursuit of attention can be a slippery slope that ends with your virtual persona doing serious damage to your real reputation.

Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t end up making the biggest mistake of your life without even realizing it:

The internet is forever. I just don’t know how else to say this in a way that really gets through to people. If you wouldn’t want it to show up anytime someone Googles your name between now and the end of time, don’t say it, do it, or post it.

Not all PR is good PR. Not only is the age-old rule “any PR is good PR” not true, it’s even less true today than it’s ever been. Don’t believe me? Some day I’ll have to tell you how I once got Bill Gates really POed and nearly destroyed a key relationship with Microsoft.

Keep your dysfunctions where they belong … buried in your subconscious. We all have issues, but some people insist on taking them out and displaying them to everyone wherever they go. Don’t be your own worst enemy.

Promote your genuine talents, not your delusions of grandeur. One of the Vanderpump Rules people gets up on tables and sings every chance she gets. The only problem is she has a terrible voice, at least in my opinion. It’s great to have aspirations, but there are smarter ways to explore your potential than doing it in front of a million viewers.

Try not to be ludicrous. You can proclaim yourself a social media guru (like you’re the only one), the CEO of a one-person company, or an entrepreneur because you once sold a comic book on eBay. It’s annoying, but not career-threatening.

About working from home–From the home page of Workshifting:

  • Work is no longer tied to an office or a cubicle. We are more connected than ever. It’s just as common to work from coffee shops, hotels, airports and home, as it is to work from the office. We are here to provide you with the tools, tricks and tips to effectively work from anywhere.
    Over 80% of employees say they maintain a better work-life balance by telecommuting. We know we do!
    By encouraging workshifting, employers can lower real estate, turnover and absenteeism costs, while increasing employee productivity. Employers can reduce their carbon footprint and fuel usage, saving employees thousands of dollars every year in commuting costs while attracting the best and the brightest, regardless of where they live.