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Experts share their discoveries [video]
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Caretaking - What is it all about?
Margalis Fjelstad, PhD
Blame - why we do it?
Brené Brown, PhD
Family dynamics matter.
Alan Fruzzetti, PhD
A perspective on BPD
Ivan Spielberg, PhD
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Author Topic: Dissociation Recovery and side effects  (Read 840 times)
Maryiscontrary
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« on: May 24, 2013, 12:43:47 PM »

I have had terrible insomnia since I stated waking up from the fugue. It's like a meth feeling, but not fun, jumpy. Over sensitive and crying a lot. Small rages interspersed with small, 30 second sobbing.

I am not getting everything done that I need to do. I still dissociate some. not like it was. I just want to be over this.

I feel no pain confronting my poor father or breaking up with my brother. None.

Here is an incredible essay on boundaries. This is very unique. I think this should be a definitive guide. Read all parts when you have the time.

www.marriageadvocates.com/2012/04/22/personal-boundaries-part-i-an-introduction-to-boundaries/

You have to figure out a boundary when you are in a situation where you feel "upset". I know I get "upset" a lot, though most around me would never know it. And for me, I get upset just a fraction of the amount I used to, using Insight and Mindfullness meditation for 14 years.

I am just a mess. I just want to get my stamina back. I feel like I got the hell beat out of me.  I am embarrassed at how little I get done, with no TV, music, trivial socializing during work time, no distractions, excuses, or anything. I just want to get things done.

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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 10:43:01 AM »

Hi Mary, 

Thank you sharing the article on boundaries.  There is some good information in there.  I saw my therapist yesterday and I was telling her how I don't like learning boundaries now (that I'm in my 40's) because I was not taught them as a child.  My mom had no boundaries and she is that way today.  I still find it challenging at times to separate where my feelings stop and another's begins.  I am, however, much better at noticing when it is happening.

The 'upset' or uncomfortable feeling is key to me, and I can identify that now.  The next step is to implement the proper boundary and take care of myself, not worrying about the reaction of the other.  I find this challenging at times.

As far as getting things done, it helps me to just start somewhere.  Once I get moving, some of the anxiety starts to naturally take care of itself.  If you feel paralyzed, making a short list might help, just focusing on an item at a time.  The main thing for me is to keep moving.  It's easy for me to feel overwhelmed lately.

It may take a while to get your footing back.  I'm not surprised you are having a rough go with it.  This recovery is not easy.  I still struggle as well. 

I also understand insomnia.  I take melatonin.  It seems to help.  Over the counter diphenhydramine can be useful, too.  I don't take prescription medication for sleep.  Exercise is great for helping with sleep, too. 

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend.
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 02:04:47 PM »

Just wanted to add that you don't "figure out the boundary" when you are upset. You can recognize that you are upset and this  is an area where you need to make a boundary. But, you don't figure out that boundary until you are calm and clear. Not sure if that's what you meant when you said that or not. You've got to find a way to get better sleep. Have you checked all hormones?
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 05:40:39 PM »

I have had terrible insomnia since I stated waking up from the fugue. It's like a meth feeling, but not fun, jumpy. Over sensitive and crying a lot. Small rages interspersed with small, 30 second sobbing.

I am not getting everything done that I need to do. I still dissociate some. not like it was. I just want to be over this.

I feel no pain confronting my poor father or breaking up with my brother. None.

Here is an incredible essay on boundaries. This is very unique. I think this should be a definitive guide. Read all parts when you have the time.

www.marriageadvocates.com/2012/04/22/personal-boundaries-part-i-an-introduction-to-boundaries/

You have to figure out a boundary when you are in a situation where you feel "upset". I know I get "upset" a lot, though most around me would never know it. And for me, I get upset just a fraction of the amount I used to, using Insight and Mindfullness meditation for 14 years.

I am just a mess. I just want to get my stamina back. I feel like I got the hell beat out of me.  I am embarrassed at how little I get done, with no TV, music, trivial socializing during work time, no distractions, excuses, or anything. I just want to get things done.

It sounds like you have PTSD symptoms: from www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/what-are-the-symptoms-of-ptsd.shtml

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms:

    Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating

    Bad dreams

    Frightening thoughts.

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms:

    Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience

    Feeling emotionally numb

    Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry

    Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past

    Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:

    Being easily startled

    Feeling tense or “on edge”

    Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 09:10:53 PM »

This are some awesome comments. This is indeed classic PTSD. the flashbacks and nightmares are finally going away. The dissociation has been a bear. I have had to eliminate all exposure to trauma, because honestly offing myself was the only other option, as I was becoming nonfunctional.

I realized that a huge portion of problems of my life were porous boundaries to dysfunctional twisted people without empathy. and swallowing so much BS for so long, I would explode.

The thing is, the only real problem I have is not eliminating these people and situations fast enough. This comes to Al turtle's very different concept of boundaries.

As we know our feelings are our own.

So here is an example:

Husband: you are a whiny bhit

Wife: "this" hurts my feelings... .


Lets really look at the logistics. When the jerk husband said this, then the wife's feeling were hurt.

The husband is entitled to his crap attitude, and she, hers.

Now, if the is a REAL relationship, a great husband would care about the wife's feeling experience. this is the key. if the H does not give a damn about what the wife feels, this is not a relationship worth having. This is deep. Do you see?

It is about whether the partner in a relationship give a damn about the other's experience. If not, it is best to leave. or sequester your feelings for an unbalanced, adult-child type of relationship.

I think this is what validation is---you express that you give a damn, even if you don't agree.

You cannot force somebody to give a damn. this is their problem. if you did X, Y, and Z as due diligence, then you must realize the person just doesn't have the motivation to give a damn.  This is what makes for BPDs that are successful, like stephs husband on the staying board. he hadn't the skills. but the motivation.

boundaries that are honored indicate safety. this is a super basic mammalian need. 

So if you in essence say " I don't feel safe", and the partner says F U, then the conversation is over.

If a manipulating narcissist says "I don't feel safe", then you say " Please explain, I don't understand and I want to understand". If the story just doesn't make sense, and he evades a sincere solution, or become a douche, the conversation is over.

Summer, when you are upset, is WHEN you exercise the boundary. How is the person to know otherwise? How are you expected to seek relief when violated ASAP?

The Al Turtle guy is off the charts. 

What do you think?

 
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almost789
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 06:16:14 AM »

I think you are misunderstood what I said. It takes some thought process to establish what your boundaries are. If you already know what your boundary is then, yes, you execute the boundary when it is crossed. But, if you don't know what your boundaries are... . like you said you were going to "figure out" your boundary. You want to be clear and calm when you are figuring that out. You don't figure out what your boundaries are when in distress. Your distress can help you identify where you need a boundary, but not a time to decide what boundry/action you will take. So, do you already know what your boundaries are?

And the reason I ask about your hormones is because elevated coritsol (hormone) plays a huge factor in insomnia as well as PTSD and/or adrenal fatigue caused from chronic stress. A hormone specialist would do a complete hormone check on you if you went in complaining of insomnia. You can also order hormone lab tests online.

www.medicinegarden.com/2011/02/19/high-cortisol-ptsd-1/
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almost789
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 06:45:47 AM »

So, according to your post it appeas you have eliminated the stressors your father and brother, and other stressors, your using mindfulness, but you continue with these symptoms. Why is that? Perhaps you should get your hormones checked... .
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 08:57:48 AM »

Summer, this was not all I lost. My ex went completely insane, become dangerous, and refused medical treatment or any help. He is still very ill. I lost my home. I lost my business. My mother died. My cat disappeared. My grandmother died. And these situations very, very screwed up, where a lot of the sh!twork fell on just a couple people. All in a very short time.

Let's look at an example. My ex went ballistic and threw garden furniture and hit me in the arm. I had no boundaries and I tried to reason. He was out of his mind. I should have called the police right then, as we had a lot of hot and sharp equipment in the house, as well as a cat whom he terrorized. I did not, thinking he would calm down and we would talk about it later. BIG MISTAKE.

I very my appreciate you input. However, my Ph.D. specifically was in physiology, as well as in the human stress response to stressors, so I am technically an expert in this. Again, I will say that I pretty much appreciate your input, and I appreciate you are here, Summer. But I found this comment to be very invalidating and uninformed.



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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 09:15:53 AM »

That is A LOT thrown onto you in a heap.  When the stress is huge, it can drain a person past the usual ability to bounce back.  Gas tank is on E.  Body says, um, I'm going to need a little time to recover from this one.  Your mind is going, come on, we need to get this done.  The body says, nope.

People that have no awareness of how their actions affect others are unsafe.  Sometimes a person can do something that unintentionally hurts another person.  If I hurt someone and they let me know, I will make amends and change my behavior to avoid that happening again.  Ex is incapable of doing this, being held accountable.  So is N-dad and N-sis.  These are unsafe people.  I will take steps to not let them step on my emotions ever.  I will recognize they are ill and not take their actions personally.

When I come across people like this, say at work, the wall goes up, the mirror comes out and the sponge is locked in the cabinet.  This is my boundary for staying safe.  Their words can't penetrate.  They bounce off and go back to the source.  It's rather satisfying to see them back off and go approach someone else that will be a sponge.  Victory.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 10:18:39 AM »

Im applogise if that was invalidating. Thats not what I intended. I actually believe that hormones play a factor in PTSD and that perhaps you should get them checked and get it treated if you found they were off.
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 02:11:47 PM »

Oh Summer, this is fine. It just there really isn't much a doctor can do. there is no effective anti stress, and anti glucocorticoid pill. there is however, creating a narrative, which rebuilds the lost axonal projections in the hippocampus, which are very much damaged during stress under elevated glucocorticoif levels. In fact, this is one of the few parts of the nervous systems where new cells can actually grow, as well as dendritic connections.

I am doing everything I know to do as carefully to a "T", as possible, with no sloppiness and no laziness. Just like with physical therapy needed after an accident, I am astounded at how much damn energy and time this is taking.

Yes, Rose. I found Al Turtles description very enlightening.

"People that have no awareness of how their actions affect others are unsafe." So if you feel unsafe with a person, and very kindly exercise boundaries, and there is still no response, you (or anybody) immediately needs to question the validity and integrity of the relationship.

But if they say "Gawd, I am so sorry for hit__." they are trying to validate. Or, if you are too sensitive (say that a person wearing red shirts offends you), hopefully you will realize what walls you are building up and keeping safe people out. But what he is saying, is that we should never ignore "upset".
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 08:17:15 AM »

I like the imagery in that article. I agree that when I feel "upset" (i.e., angry, scared, "icky," etc.), it is a good indicator that a boundary has been crossed somewhere and that I need to stop and figure out where. I have been doing EMDR for my PTSD and keep coming to an image of a door. This would be the drawbridge/gate to my castle. I can decide who comes in and when. I have been impressed with the images my mind has come up with to heal during a session... . sometimes it is like dreaming while awake. Somehow this therapy works with me on an emotional level rather than just an intellectual one and that has helped a great deal. I do recommend it.

Wishing you peace,

PF
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 08:30:41 AM »

Forgot I was going to ask about this:

Excerpt
I am embarrassed at how little I get done, with no TV, music, trivial socializing during work time, no distractions, excuses, or anything. I just want to get things done.

Are you intrinsically valuable, or is your worth performance-based? Needing time to recover from an injury is not the same as being lazy. Nothing wrong with wanting to get back into "shape" so to speak; also nothing wrong with taking time to rest so that the injury can properly heal. Going too fast can make things worse.

PF
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 10:24:41 AM »

Yes, mr. Turtle's descriptions are extremely helpful. He even has a cute section on dealing with narcissists. Very light hearted and folksy. Emotional IQ of a billion.


I very much appreciate your input. I was born to create, be in action. Now that all the human garbage is put of my way, I want to create. I want to make great jobs. I want to corner the markets. It is right there, if I could just get the stamina. I have put in a request a SCORE (they are awesome) for mentoring. I figure if I could have an old pro hold me accountable, I could get more done.

I very much appreciate your caring. But it has been a year and I want to get back to regular life.

What wonderful humans there are here.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 06:50:07 PM »

I very much appreciate your caring. But it has been a year and I want to get back to regular life.

Most understandable! I bet it will feel good to get back into the swing of things. Sounds like you are taking some good steps toward your goal.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Creativity is important.

PF
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 09:02:07 AM »

Just wanted to say that I loved Al Turtle's writings on boundaries!

That and I got sucked into other stuff on his website. I loved his description of the "Lizard brain" and working with his lizard. (Another long essay)

Safety and The Lizard: The Essay

Mary, I'd recommend it to you especially because he describes PTSD or at least parts of it in this context.

Well that, and it sounds like you are making good progress, no matter how frustrating it feels to you right now!
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 07:34:15 AM »

The lizard essay was interesting.  Didn't like the one part, that poor woman.  But wonder, he was saying that when we are little, the things we can't handle get tucked away and immediately forgotten.  I wonder if pwBPD are doing that because there are things that ex had absolutely no recollection about, wondering if the emotional immaturity is still working like the 8 year old scenario.

There are things that make me go deer in the headlights.  Where I freeze, like the animal standing perfectly still to not be seen, out of fear.  Like the boss saying, come see me when you have a minute.  I hate those other times too, where my mind goes blank and I can't think of one thing to say that would be appropriate.  Ugh.  It says in the article, that is when my lizard thinks it's about to die.  A bit over reactive, lizard.
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 03:00:27 PM »

I have read his information on his website, and found good thoughts and ideas there.

However, I take it all with a grain of salt. I don't want to be a killjoy, but his wife was a licensed counselor in the State of Idaho and had her licensed revoked last year because for more than 10 years, she allowed Al to meet with and provide services to clients in her practice, and bill insurance under her name, when he was not licensed to perform such services with the state. I question why this man was unable to become licensed himself, and mislead patients to think we was certified. FYI all this information is public record available online.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 08:50:03 AM »

Free One,

I did a quick google search looking for the license revocation, and couldn't find it. I think I did find record of her having a license. Perhaps I didn't guess correctly on her name, or didn't search long enough.

This disclaimer doesn't smell quite right to me (taken from his website on the page about hiring him for phone "chats"

Excerpt
“Counseling?” You probably want to forget about that word – counseling.  There have crept into existence lots of rules, legal ones, about using that term.  I teach, educate, tutor, coach.  By phone we chat.  We share.

I wouldn't hire him... . but I do like some things he has written quite a lot.
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 10:22:18 AM »

Thanks for the link to the article on boundaries. I feel like a real dope when it comes to understanding boundaries, and really appreciate how Turtle broke it down into such a useful metaphor. My castle was overrun with free loaders and not a soldier or warrior in sight. Now I have them trained to shoot first, then ask questions. Well, ok, haha. Maybe not quite so tough as that, but a hell of a lot better than the old days.

I know I get "upset" a lot, though most around me would never know it. And for me, I get upset just a fraction of the amount I used to, using Insight and Mindfullness meditation for 14 years.

I'm the same way. The one thing I got better at was telling people in advance what my boundaries were. I know myself better now, and will tell people that the drawbridge is going up and the gate will close if xyz happens.

But I'm curious about insight and mindfulness meditation -- does that mean that you iron out some of the fire and smoke in your castle? I've never really understood this. It's good to be mindful so you can pay attention to the warning signs, or the upset, but do you also feel that meditation sometimes flattens out the upset so you don't react to it? And that's not a good thing, is it?

Excerpt
I am just a mess. I just want to get my stamina back. I feel like I got the hell beat out of me.  I am embarrassed at how little I get done, with no TV, music, trivial socializing during work time, no distractions, excuses, or anything. I just want to get things done.

You did get the hell beat out of you. You've been in combat for a long, long time, and then you were in battle recently, dealing with everything at once. Holy crap, mary. I have this image of you washed up on a strange shore, physically emotionally psychologically spent, and now you have to build a new civilization with only a swiss army knife and a lighter. If you had a healthy childhood and functional adulthood, maybe there would be a circle of people nearby to hold you up and help carry you through this. But that's the salt in the wound -- we've been trained for combat, not for this peace time stuff.

I think I am dealing with something similar. For the first time in a really, really, really long time, I am not steeped in the chemicals of high stress. And stress has been like a rudder for me. It helped me figure out what to do next. Now it's gone (ok, mostly gone) and I go in circles a lot of the time. I don't want to get any work done. I spend hours frittering the time away. I'm supposed to be doing a phd and instead I fart around on the internet and walk a lot with my dog, or I do meaningless tasks so I can feel like I'm accomplishing at least a little bit of something instead of a lot of nothing.

Bleh.

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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2013, 01:46:35 PM »

livednlearned, this concern doesn't fit with my experience of mindfulness meditation:

I know I get "upset" a lot, though most around me would never know it. And for me, I get upset just a fraction of the amount I used to, using Insight and Mindfullness meditation for 14 years.

But I'm curious about insight and mindfulness meditation -- does that mean that you iron out some of the fire and smoke in your castle? I've never really understood this. It's good to be mindful so you can pay attention to the warning signs, or the upset, but do you also feel that meditation sometimes flattens out the upset so you don't react to it? And that's not a good thing, is it?

Mindfulness isn't supposed to make painful things less painful, and it doesn't do that. It has never turned me into more of a doormat.

What it has done for me is let me see that something is painful, and experience the pain directly... . then decide what response (if any) I want to give the pain.

Example: If my hand is on a hot stove, I notice the burning sensation (mindfulness) and remove my hand (likely just a reaction, but if I think about it longer, I'd respond the same way)

But what we often do is find that we cannot directly experience the pain. Instead we react to it, by doing something like getting angry or shutting down. Then we don't have the experience the pain, because we get caught up in the other feelings.

Example: I notice that I'm being invalidated by my father-in-law, and this hurts. Since I notice the feeling, I can choose what to do, and would decide NOT to react by JADE-ing all over the place, and escalate things further. Then realize that this is (likely) about him, and if I don't take it personally, this will be over faster. If I said something about how this was a hurtful thing to say, my f-i-l would simply deny that it was hurtful and say something even more invalidating, and get more wound up. (Guess how I know  )

With the castle analogy, I would say that mindfulness meditation is training your castle guards what to sound the alarm about and to wait for instructions before shooting when they see something suspicious.

It would help the guards figure out that the smoke going through your castle may be because you are downwind of somebody else's castle that is on fire. The smoke may come from somebody (pwBPD) with very poor boundaries (untrained guards) who are trying to sack your castle to get water and steal your fire axe to put their own fire out. Your guards need to first stop the attack, then see if they can do something to help with the neighbor's fire. Mindfulness helps your guards figure out that this is what is going on.
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2013, 07:33:14 PM »

Mindfulness isn't supposed to make painful things less painful, and it doesn't do that. It has never turned me into more of a doormat.

I get that. I guess my tendency is to have no response to the pain, but that's probably a separate issue, not meditation per se, but how I respond to negative stimuli.

Excerpt
But what we often do is find that we cannot directly experience the pain. Instead we react to it, by doing something like getting angry or shutting down. Then we don't have the experience the pain, because we get caught up in the other feelings.

Nicely said.
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