Time to heal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Member

    @Saville and @Bobo I take your points and to an extent I agree with you. Whatever happened in the past has gone and we may as well concentrate on the 'here and now'.

    The reason I mentioned childhood trauma is because I recently started therapy and was asked questions about this during a session. So far I haven't been able to identify a definite link between a specific trauma and my addictive behaviours and I'm not sure if I'll find one. So why go looking? This question is best answered via some text from my therapist:

    "Where trauma experiences are pushed under the carpet ie not processed or dealt with in a meaningful way, they have a common habit of trying to break out. I once heard the metaphorical idea of a snake under a rug which just moves position when the lump is trodden down. In other words, the trauma doesn't go away by itself, it just keeps making its presence known in a wide variety of symptoms, all of which may lead to the need for self-medicating compulsive behaviours such as sex and porn addictions. Trauma experiences and memories of them are often thought of as being 'locked up' in the emotional part of the brain and therefore requiring unlocking, 'digesting' or processing."
     
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Here's my caviet. I'm not a psychologist, duh, and only you know what's best for you. But, here's what I think, based on only my own experience and having read and talked to a lot of men my age. I think memories can be tricky. It's like we're looking for that smoking gun so we explain why we are the way we are. We root around our memory bank, thinking and thinking. In a way it would be better if one of our parents had punched us in the face, because then we would have an identifiable source for our troubles...it all started back when.

    I think it is a cumulative process, as well as a generational one. Our parents, who were tired and possessed a poor skill-set, did things that defeated us. Usually there is one parent who factors more in this than the other; in my case it was my mom. My mom was a narcissist who had to be the star of the show. She grew up in a time where women were just starting to feel empowered and so she trained her son to be the kind of man she thought was good. Like Glover says in "No More Mr. Nice Guy" I was set up to be in competition with my father. I had to be the man that he was not. My dad, who was a kind man, just let his wife do most of the rearing, as men did back then. Basically, he checked out. However, they both did their best, which was something incredible for me to realize. Just as I'm not perfect, neither were they. So, as I mentioned, the defeat of my character was cumulative. A look here, a glance there, a moment of humiliation, and/or a hurtful comment. For sensitive people, like us, I think we felt vulnerable and unprotected and so had to create fake personae in order to cope.

    Generationally, of course, our parents were just doing what was handed down to them. So, in that sense, our whole fucking society is acting out the dysfunction of the past. In a wider sense you can see this easily. All our strife is based on biases and habits from our ancestors.

    I think we move forward by forgiveness. I forgive my parents for not knowing better. I forgive my wife for, well, not knowing any better. Most importantly, I forgive myself. Imo, the addict wants to suck us back by having us turn over and over our lives, because then we stay stuck. There is no resolution to the thinking, at least that's what I've found. From here on out I just want to do stuff and use my thinking brain to solve the problems of today. I'm not always successful, but I trust the process.

    Thanks for letting me write so much on your journal. Also, write here every day. I know it sounds like I'm a broken record, but it's just so critical. We clear up so much shit when we are active on the forum. Wishing you the best, man! :)
     
    A New Man and Libertad like this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Member

    Thanks for the detailed post and the kind words Saville, it's appreciated. I'll see where the trauma stuff takes me, chances are it won't uncover anything but I'll give it a shot.

    Still working on the process of strengthening my commitment to recover through hourly reminders of the benefits of quitting.

    Self respect - as each hour and each day pass my self respect grows. I continue with little acts of self care whether it be taking time for self, dressing better, sleeping well, eating healthily, working out, drinking less booze.

    Peace of mind - this is priceless. Feelings of anxiety are reduced and I feel at ease with myself and the world in general.

    Fulfil potential - freedom from P gives me the time and opportunity to grow, learn and do things that are beneficial, creative, fulfilling and enjoyable

    Improved relationship - the shame slips away and I feel like less of a fraud. I can look my wife in the eye and I can work towards a more fulfilling relationship.
     
    Boxer17, Caoimhín and Saville like this.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a positive post. Great way to start my day! :)
     
  5. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Personally, I think dealing with trauma is a fundamental step in understanding what makes you tick. Trauma has been defined to me as an emotional experience that has not been lived. Because of the trauma, the feelings and sensations of the mind and body have become stuck. Dealing with trauma therefore involves working with it to some degree. It doesn't mean that you have to find a specific thing or person to blame and even that will not guarantee that the trauma will be "digested". This is something that you have to "lean into" and build up to. But I think it is essential.
     
    Saville likes this.
  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I think @Caoimhín is right. Today, right now, I've decided I need a more nuanced approach to all this. So, I'm learning. :) He's right that blaming someone is useless. It just keeps us stuck. But, our body stores up stresses, and I think that identifying these might be very helpful. In a way we are unlocking the physical so that the emotional can get back to itself.

    Best of luck, @forlorn and keep us posted!
     
    Caoimhín likes this.
  7. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I agree. This element is essential. If you know you're not a fraud your foundation for progress is greatly strengthened
     
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