PTSD Conversation. November 21, 2022

Our body remembers and keeps track. This is a recently acquired piece of information that explains a whole lot of things for me.

Memory suppression is a coping mechanism our minds will use to help us survive life. That has been the truth of my formative years. I have to be intentional about allowing snippets of information to settle in my mind long enough to consider what they might mean. Doing this has been an enlightening experience and explained may things, but it didn’t start happening until I was willing to allow my mind to dwell on the visiting thoughts.

For many decades I refused to entertain the idea of abuse precisely because I had no concrete memories. I suspected but wouldn’t make an accusation I couldn’t prove. A decade or so ago my brother forced me to admit it was true. He used persuasive force so it was all good. I think he remembers more than he was willing to admit. His assertion came out of nowhere although I think he must have been thinking about it for quite some time. It was like he was on a mission to finally talk about it and now was the time.

So back to the body remembering thought. . . It’s kind of funny when I think about it because I have been on a quest for emotional healing for many decades. That would be proof of the body remembers where my mind doesn’t. Subconsciously I knew I had a deep need for healing in my life and over the years I’ve been driven to pursue it relentlessly. The motivation was I want to be well.

It’s something how books, conversations, lectures, stories, all sorts of things, cross my path just when I need them.

Like I said the body remembers concept showed up in the last year or so and it was so helpful. I had been paying attention before but now I was more intentional. Besides noticing physical responses, fight or flight, I started thinking more deeply about the reasons and implications of those reactions. I’ve known forever than I don’t have normal reactions or even interpretations to words or situations, but I want to.

The latest idea for me to explore builds on the last one. Your body remembers and is convinced that danger still exists and raises the alarm to protect you. That’s why we are triggered by anything remotely resembling past dangerous situations. I have many triggers and have yet to figure out what is behind most of them. There are so many because the worst of the abuse stretched over a decade and on top of that there were multiple people involved as well as multiple types of abuse. Both emotional and physical. Then there is the complication that the emotional abuse continued on much longer than a decade.

The idea today was that, to get past these reactions we have to face our triggers/fears, convince our internal memory that all is well and the danger is past. And mostly it is, that’s true.

For a while I have been thinking about changing thought patterns by laying down new memories over the old. Creating new neural pathways. I’ve been thinking about facing and figuring out what caused the triggers in order to understand the why of the triggers, by knowing what happened to me. Understanding what is behind the triggers helps us chase away the proverbial bogey man hiding under the bed or in the closet.

I can see now that finding a way to convince my body that the danger is past and I’m safe, is badly needed.

Easier said than done. But worth a try.

Today’s moment of revelation came in the form of a podcast. It was a valuable conversation between professionals, a clinical psychologist and a popular guest with several degrees in the mental health field. These two come at the conversation from different perspectives and it has given me food for thought that will be around for some time to come.

One more much needed building block on the journey.

Here is the link. They had so much more to say that is worth hearing.

https://youtu.be/B_373YVlnDA

Among many others they talked about answering the question – What do you want? a serious question that most of us cannot articulate. Possibly because no one has ever asked us that question. At least not in a serious, really wanting to know, kind of way. It’s usually more like – what do You want? That’s the first thought that popped into my head as I wrote the first question. Sad. Probably heard that version a lot as a kid.

I have to say they covered a lot of ground in the hour long podcast.

Anyway, their enlightening conversation was definitely worth the time.

Until next time

Hope this makes sense, didn’t leave enough time for needed rewrites.

Bargain books October 21, 2022

It’s Friday and the sun is shining. It’s looking like we may have books too. This first suggestion by BookBub is with an author we’ve seen several times. I’ve looked through my lists and her name is not there so I’m guessing I didn’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. There are five books in the collection and I’m struggling for reading time but still, with that many books it’s a good chance to form an opinion.

I like having opinions because it narrows down the mind boggling choices, for one thing, and it protects us from unsatisfactory reads, for another. Boring is the worst. Well thought out, well written books are the best.

So, back to the collection.

Finding Love Medical Romance Boxed Set: Five Sweet medical Romance

Whispers of Love
Two people determined not to fall in love, but love has other plans.Can Ty get over his past to fight for the wonderful future standing right in front of him as he learns to trust God? Will Jordyn let go of her fear and risk her heart for a chance at true love?

A Chance For Love
He’s a Prince. She’s a foster kid turned nanny. They’re world apart. When the nanny challenges his parenting skills, he is determined to do better. Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan. But can a prince and a street girl beat the odds?

Destined To Love
It was just a kiss on a dare. But their lives were altered forever. When he finds out he’ll be working with the only girl who’d ever believe in him, he sees his chance to apologize for humiliating her. Righting the wrongs proves more difficult than he imagined and now he doesn’t want just her forgiveness, he wants her heart.

Home For Love
She’s a widow who has loved and lost. He’s just been jilted. Neither of them have love in their plan… As situation forces them together, Jared finds it hard to step away from the woman and her two sweet kids who have captured his heart. Alison knows the longer she depends on Jared, the harder it will be to leave. If only she didn’t have to leave.

A Second Shot At Love
Two people unlikely to fall in love. When circumstances beyond their control push them together, Stormie and Jordan fight the growing attraction for each other. Can they possibly be given a second shot at love?

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This next one has a definite bent toward talking about God, just sayin’. They are fiction stories though so there is that. I’m sharing this collection for those of you who would find it appealing. There is something encouraging to be found in these stories, especially if we are facing hard times ourselves.

A Whisper of Peace: A Mosaic Christmas Anthology IV 

Jesus came into this world silently, bringing the gift of peace to a hurting world. In the midst of the crazy, messy lives of the people in these stories, will they be able to hear His whisper of peace over the clamoring of their hearts this Christmas season?

A Mosaic Christmas Anthology IV

★★★

Christmas at the Crossroads” by Eleanor Bertin

Myra and Sue are best friends. One is raised in a strict, religious home, the other permissively indulged. Which one will influence the other? When the teens are caught breaking the law near Christmas, the consequences force them to a crossroads with unexpected results.

The Magic of Christmas” by Lorna Seilstad

Occupational therapist Shayna Winters will do anything to create some magic for her pediatric patients this Christmas. But when an accident on the gridiron lands Dante Gallo’s nephew in her care, she has to find a way to make her former boyfriend see that peace is more than an illusion.

“A Single Spark of Light” by Sara Davison

God had abandoned him a long time ago. And Ty didn’t blame him one bit.

Tyrone Jones will never forgive himself for the people he hurt in the past. And he has no reason to believe that God will ever forgive him either. Until he meets a stranger on a bridge one night a couple of weeks before Christmas.

A stranger who sends Ty on a quest that just might change his life—and his heart—forever.

“Reclaiming Tomorrow” by Angela D. Meyer

An old threat resurfaces, forcing Josie to face her greatest fear.

Josie Ferris is making strides to build a new life when an old threat resurfaces. Will Josie trust her new friend Daniel enough to let him teach her how to defend herself so that she can stand up to the man determined to destroy her future?

“Whispered Miracle” by Stacy Monson

Casey Younghans has bounced around foster care most of her life. About to age out and unprepared to be on her own, she faces an uncertain future alone. Being sent to Outlook Adventure Camp for Christmas is just one more place she won’t be welcome. Then she meets Lula, the tiny dog with understanding eyes, and the camp staff who seem to accept her, attitude and all. Could she actually find a way to fit into the world just the way she is? It would be a miracle.

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Ten books, that counts as a good day.

Now, off to work since the sun is finally off the office computer. That’s the trouble with the change of seasons. The sun is lower in the sky and can full on peek in all of the windows enough to be a nuisance.

There is another one of those annoying words. peak and peek

Happy Reading y’all

This and that September 06, 2022

I’m coming up empty on what to talk about tonight. We have no good book suggestions to get excited about. My head is not settled on subjects I could pursue. It’s probably because I’ve spent the evening listening to YouTube podcasts. There were a bunch of short ones related to the news of the day, not something I really want to talk about. They weren’t of the feel good type, more of a downer, life is like that sometimes.

The last one, though, has given me much to ponder. It was a long interview, 2 and 1/4 hours long, and in my mind it could have been longer. The interview was between two highly successful men. It was very interesting, mostly because they both got to the heart of the matter in a very real and candid way. It was relatable and left me feeling richer for the experience. I’ll be chewing on it for awhile.

The other unique aspect was that it turned into a double interview. Both of these guys have successful podcasts with huge audiences and of course the interviewee had to have a chance to interview his host. They both did an awesome job of switching roles. I will probably watch it again another day. There was so much to unpack that once is not enough.

I will include the link in case you are curious to see what it was all about. The original guest was inducted into a Canadian hall of fame for marketing genius. His name is Tony Chapman. The subject was marketing but they got into personal territory when they talked about their early life, their families, their jobs and how they got their start and how they progressed to where they are now. Fascinating.

The awesome thing was they wanted to be helpful. They left their egos at home and shared real down-to-earth things. I love this type of interview, it draws me in and touches my life in profound ways.

Anyway, that is where my head is tonight.

It was a good night.

Maybe we will have books to share tomorrow.

Happy reading and maybe even listening.

A rewired brain – abuse, pornography

Abuse and pornography = a rewired brain. Mine has been rewired by abuse starting at a very early age and I’m just now figuring it out.

Probably because I didn’t want to figure it out sooner.

Two things set this event in motion.

One of the comments appearing often over the last several years is that “the body remembers.” I have to say that’s true. One of the fleeting memories I had as a young kid and remember vividly to this day was straddling a metal barrel warmed by the sun, struck by the thought “I’ve had this experience of warmth before somewhere.” There are many other similar memories and thought patterns that added all together lead to a dark place.

Another happening adding to the discussion in my head was a recent podcast where the interviewee talked about his early introduction to pornography and how the practice rewired his brain and made relationships difficult. One of the biggest reasons, aside from guilt, for this difficulty in relationships is connection, or more precisely, a lack of it, and pornography contributes to it. But that’s a subject for another day.

For years I have wrestled with many things about my thought processes regarding men, especially compared to thought patterns of other women. I have an inexplicable love/hate relationship with them. I love having long conversations with my sons and brothers so there’s that. Then, I don’t exactly hate other men, I just run away from any who show interest.

This rewiring is apparent when I can’t understand the fascination young girls, or women for that matter, have with boys/men. The only experience I have with normal teenage thoughts is reading about them in books. I can’t relate to the giggling fascination. Swooning over cute boys, falling in and out of love regularly and sharing all the details of these interactions daily with their friends.

The reason I am happy about this recent new level of understanding about my mixed up feelings is my incessant need to know why. Why am I this way?

I’ve heard other abuse victims say this: there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand you hate the abusive experience forced on you while at the same time, the physical experience has a level of enjoyment to it. Our bodies betray us by liking what is happening.

I guess all of this explains why I have a good attitude toward the physical experience but a negative reaction to the thought of having a man in my life. The unwelcome hazy face rising up at the thought of sharing my life inevitably looks like one I wouldn’t want to be with. A thought killer right there.

I don’t really know how to end this. This whole conversation has been working in my mind for a while and today it seemed like this was the day I finally needed to talk it out.

My journey from abuse to wellness has been decades long and I have to say I am now the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m grateful. The truth has indeed set me free.

I’m understanding, on a minor level, the kind of abuse inflicted on me, I’ve made peace with the people involved even though they are no longer with us, and I’ve allowed enough difficult memories to surface to make understanding and healing possible.

I can also see the truth in the idea that rewiring by repetition of positive healthy experiences will change neural pathways. We can learn healthy new ways of being. That has been my prayer, that my thought patterns and reactions would be changed to a healthier version.

While I’m still baffled by my complicated thoughts and attitudes toward men, it’s something to realize that over the years (especially the teen years) many of my best friends were guys. It’s with thankfulness that I can agree that the abusive first decade of my life has been somewhat influenced and overwritten by the positive relationships of my free and healthy second decade, the teen years.

I guess I am a product of the good and the bad.

I’m grateful. Grateful for the good parts of life, grateful for the healing and understanding I have today.

I won’t lie though. The healing is not complete, it’s just markedly better. I’m still hiding away from men.

Somethings may never change lol

Enough of this, I’m off to rescue the dryer.

Bargain books August 08, 2022

We have books!

1531 Entertainment has two new suggestions for us.

Perennials 

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is quickly engrossed in a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. But the landscaper who’s also working on it is none other than Fisher, the first boy she ever loved. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, the power of second chances, and how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

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Dial I for Identity: Sweet Contemporary Christian Romance Novella (You Are on the Air, Book 12) 

♥ She’s got one chance to find herself and start a new life—with a little help from her radio psychologist. ♥
Quinn Kelly. Intelligent, responsible, hard-working, reliable. She’s also spontaneous and whimsical—when she lets herself be. Certain those two sides of herself cannot peaceably coexist, she takes a serendipitous windfall and a bit of risky advice from some old movies and decides to spend a couple of months at a chalet resort in Lake Vienna—as a pair of twins. (Hint: she doesn’t have a twin). Surely she can sort her issues in a couple of months… right?

Seth Clifton has his own issues—trust issues to be precise. But the girl he keeps running into offers a refreshing perspective on life. Right up to the moment he discovers she’s not who and what she seems.

They both have problems to overcome. They both have the same therapist, sort of. They could each be great for the other with a little work and a lot of help from Dr. Daphne Moore. What’ll it take for the radio doc to resolve their differences and heal hearts?

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LPC Free Books has a non fiction suggestion that looks like it could be helpful.

Anchored: Leading Through the Storms

2019 Selah Award winner Anchored encourages ministry leaders to lead with integrity in the midst of difficult life storms. 

Sharing personal examples, ministry leader and pastor’s wife Cynthia Cavanaugh equips believers with the biblical and leadership principles necessary to maintain influence and to courageously remain anchored to the Rock—Jesus Christ. So when those difficult life storms come to those in ministry leadership, and they will, you’ll know how to deal with that deep question: how can I lead in the midst of this storm and keep my witness intact?

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There were a few suggestions we’ve seen before, I’ll share them in another post just in case you are interested.

Another good book day.

Happy Reading!

It’s Mother’s Day May 08, 2022

Photo by George Dolgikh @ Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

I’m thinking gratefully about all the women in my life who have been mothers to me over the years. Some by blood, some by marriage, and some evolving out of friendships. All of them hold a special place in my heart and I’m grateful for having had them in my life.

I’m also thinking about the girls/women in my life who are mothers to my grandchildren. I couldn’t be prouder of all three of them, they have done such an awesome job of being moms. We all know, one way or another, that raising kids is a daunting task at times. Kudos to them for allowing their kids to survive. lol I raised a strong willed child and he survived, now it’s his turn. Pay back is so much fun.

God created mothers with a strong love and protective instinct for their children. Think mama bear. Thank goodness he did.

Thank you to women everywhere who have loved their children well.

If your children are young and you are exhausted you are probably having serious doubts about the well part right about now. One day before you know it they will be grown and you will see things in a different light.

Some of you may be brokenhearted over your adult children. We can do everything right and things still turn out wrong. Our grown children can make terrible choices even when we have loved them well.

Think of the moms you love and along with me, take a moment to be grateful for each and every one them.

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

An excellent, insightful, helpful article. A Must share. — For the Love of Books

Today’s guest post is a Q&A by Andrea A. Firth (@AndreaAFirth), a writer, editor, and teacher and cofounder of Diablo Writers’ Workshop. Getting published in literary journals is hard—still. Editors routinely say that they often have to turn down good writing. The submission cycle takes months, and months. But some things have changed. No more…

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

Today’s happenings April 10, 2022

Concert Stage

This clip is an experiment, hope it works, to give a sample of what is happening.

There is a big rally happening downtown Los Angeles today. They are still setting up and it looks like it is going to be big. Concerts, speakers, vendors, lots of people. At one point I heard someone say they are expecting a 50,000 strong turnout.

There are live streamers sharing this on You Tube and Rumble.

Currently I’m watching both Sasnak and Mud Pig Trucking on You Tube.

His name started from his habit of hauling to farmer’s fields and coming out with a truck covered in mud.

We won’t hear much about this in commercial media that’s for sure.

Check it out.

Thought for the night March 26, 2022

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Sometimes the goal we’ve set for ourselves does not materialize but something better does.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when the hoped for outcome does not happen. Watching something unfold I’m hearing this sentiment express.

As a uninvolved observer I’m seeing community happening where there was little to none. Individuals are being reminded of what can happen when they work together as a team.

It’s inspiring to this uninvolved observer.