“I am continuously struck by how frequently the various thought processes of the inner critic trigger overwhelming emotional flashbacks. This is because the PTSD-derived inner critic weds shame and self-hate about imperfection to fear of abandonment, and mercilessly drive the psyche with the entwined serpents of perfectionism and endangerment. Recovering individuals must learn to recognize, confront and disidentify from the many inner critic processes that tumble them back in emotional time to the awful feelings of overwhelming fear, self-hate, hopelessness and self-disgust that were part and parcel of their original childhood abandonment.” Pete Walker
“First things to do: Research! Understand the mechanism of trauma, how the fight or flight system fires.
Start repeating a short affirmation multiple times a day. In this moment, right now, I feel my body overflowing with approval, safety and kindness. Record it, play it back constantly.
Next, find a way to calm the fight or flight mechanism from firing. We need to be in a safer zone called our window of tolerance.
When our fight or flight mechanism is fueling ptsd, we our way beyond our window of tolerance.
I picked meditation, practiced everyday, built my focus to face my nervous system exploding.
The journey had many failures, setbacks and trials.
You must find an action to help you calm your nervous system.
Aerobic exercise is an alternative, it dissipates cortisol and adrenaline mechanically.
A good tool but hard to exercise at your desk or work. We would be exhausted trying to exercise our way to healing after every trigger.
The breath can impact the nervous system far more easily and much quicker.
I found enormous power using my breath to access my right hemisphere.
PTSD is an invisible prison while meditation was a ticket to my creative, expansive, free side of my mind.
The left hemisphere (cognitive side), is the size of a beach ball. The right hemisphere is expansive, creative and big as the Pacific Ocean.
Meditation is like space travel for me, journeying to that creative side. No words, good or bad, right or wrong exists to limit our experience.
It seems like heaven but disappears quickly.
You have found a space where the past and future do not exist, where ptsd can not visit.”
“Some of my most extreme trauma responses have been tied to his betrayals, manifesting in situations where I feel like I need to defend myself. Work situations that have crashed and burned. Small disagreements have turned into fights.
The adrenaline, the fear, the lack of focus, and the shakiness that comes with this trigger — it is so physical for me.
Then there is the self doubt, and deep need to prove my worth to the people involved that always come with. Always such intense and uncomfortable interactions that cause me anxiety in the aftermath.
Instead of knowing my worth and standing with courage in my convictions, I become triggered and go into fight mode when I feel like my integrity is in question (and that happens way more than I’d like to admit).
This has been a very challenging trigger to develop awareness of. It has been covered heavily in denial. Acceptance is equally hard — this is my dad who did this damage. As angry as I am — I still feel the child’s pull to my parent. Ugh, this primal shit …
Managing this emotional trigger when the lever is pulled is some seriously heavy lifting for me right now.”