Peace after trauma. Can you share your secrets please?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As most of you know, my peaceful life was interrupted by my father's death. A ton of old memories that I had locked away flooded back to me and hurt me all over again.Dang it!

    I am truly calming down somewhat now and wish to get back to that happy, peaceful place I was in for a long time. I have much to look forward to and my FOO should not be on my mind. Even if I am on theirs.

    I am already exercising, meditating and listening to comforting videos. I am enjoying a new group of friends as well as young mentorees. My dear dear husband retires on April 27. My daughter is graduating April 21 and the group to cheer for her will be large and fun. There will be a hotel family party for all.

    But apparently the back of my mind still carries the old trash. I need new ideas to put a lid on that trash again.. I thought about adult coloring books, assembling a calm box full of comforting items, praying and meditating more and I walk five miles a day.

    It's not enough, since this trauma has re-entered my mind. The old stuff that I thought was long gone.

    So I ask for more suggestions to practice calmness. There must be methods you have that I have not yet tried. Or thought of.

    No idea is too small or insignificant.

    It doesn't help that winter is lasting so long in Wisconsin lol. It is going to snow again this weekend. It snowed last weekend!!

    So all you kind folks, please help if you have any ideas.

    Helpful books, awesome meditations, calm activities, anything is welcome.
    ,Thanx,!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Swot. I am the last person to give counsel on putting to rest foo pain and memories. It is 4.5 yesrs since my mother's death. Even y few months I check online to see where my sister lives. She changed states last year. And left a job, to begin self employment. I know that by Google and Zillow. She is selling a house as we speak.

    More or less I accept I will not see her again. I feel sad about the times through the years she made attempts to reach out. But I know I was never safe.

    Both because she was dangerous and because I lacked the tools to protect myself and know and act on my needs

    I think the latter is crucial.

    I am learning now how to stay in the present. Centered in my body. For example. I have learned an exercise where I sit with my feet firmly planted on the floor. I focus on them. Then on my hands traveling thru the parts of my peripheral body. And finally on my chest and breathing.It is a form of meditation.

    When a negative story enters my mind after I have done this, it lacks the pain and charge it had before. It feels unimportant and i feel peace.

    You see. I am seeing the stories (of past hurts) as unimportant. They are just so much noise that clutters my mind.

    My life is right now,. As is yours. We could make an interpretation, that it is guilt over what we have, and guilt leaving them behind. But why bother,?

    For me learning techniques to center myself in my body/mind becomes a new way to live. While my life story matters, like you do, I want to live in the present.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you Copa. The present is always a good place to be. I know your family has caused you suffering but I don't think you need to feel guilt. You didn't do anything wrong. In fact you protected your mom from your sister. Maybe she is terminally angry because you took control. But what if you had given her control?? You know it was best for your dear mother that you kept control.

    I am a little different in that I don't feel guilty. Cops, I TRIED MY BEST. I apologized to my mother when I had no idea exactly what I was apologizing for. I sent her beautiful cards. I called her and talked to her although she never called ME. I said I loved her. She would respond "I know you do." in wanted a mother but I didn't get one, but it was not for lack of trying.

    Eventually I gave up and I never heard from her again.

    As for our sisters, I suspect you tried. So did I. Even after mine revengefully called the cops on me repeatedly I took her back because I loved her. But I can't do that anymore. I don't feel guilty. You should not feel guilty. The only way I would talk to mine again would be if she found a creative way to apologize for the cops, the abscence of compassion when I was disinherited and remorse for her cut offs. She is like my mom. They never apologize. Ever. At least, not to me. I feel she lacks empathy. I am her only target now, but my brother was an early, vicious target of her as was my dear grandmother.

    I have not checked to see if my sister is still writing about me. I hope if she does write about me, it helps her. But I won't check again.

    And I can't control if she feels the need to read my thoughts on this forum. She told me she has been stalking my posts for YEARS so she read some things I didn't mean for her to see. But this is my place to vent and if she read my thoughts here it was her choice. I don't feeling guilty about that either. I am sure, even if she did not write about me on the internet, she shared her wrong diagnosis of me with everyone she knew and many knew me too. To me that is worst. Nobody knows her here. It is anonymous. If she still reads my thoughts, I don't know that There is no point. I will never see her again. And I don't feel guilty about any of this nor should you.

    You have done your very best. We both did. All we can do is our best. We can't make others feel our best is enough. But it is. Everyone's best is all they can do.

    You did the right thing and I hope you can remember that when things feel dark.

    As for me, I do try to live in the moment. When times are tough, as they are for everyone from time to time, my mind has trouble staying in the present. Today was a busy much better day. I think I am still grieving my father though. You know how that is, I'm sure. Grief is a process.

    I wish you peace. You are too kind to continue to suffer.

    Love and light.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    After two divorces and several years with M the crazy man, then several more years as a single parent to a preschooler, I was too busy surviving my own chaos to think about calmness and relaxing. Now that I have an empty nest, I'm getting better at finding my Zen. I have several color books (I love to color) and I read a lot. I also have my favorite panther in my face asking to be petted.
     
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Somewhere, here are some things that help me:

    Tai Chi - Moving meditation works better for me than sitting meditation. I like Jake Mace on You Tube (he also does martial arts - just type in his name and tai chi for beginners).

    Books, always, especially ones that I can pick up and read an affiration or short reading
    Some of my favorites:
    The Courage to Change - al anon
    When Things Fall Apart
    or any Pema Chodrin book
    The Betrayal Bond - Patrick Carnes - about how we stay traumatized by previous situations
    Twelve step slogans and any quotes, sayings that either soothe or direct my behavior in a positive direction. I copy them into a journal that I keep by my bed
    Funny movies, so I remember to laugh
    Good novels and memoirs that show me how others have made their way and also get me out of my head, for instance, All the Light We Cannot See and any Tracey
    Chevalier novel

    Being kind to myself - taking myself out for a treat, a movie - by myself every once in a while

    Hope that helps. Thinking of you.


     
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  6. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I like to read, journal, take walks. I also have a set of soul cards which have evocative images which I look at to help me centre my thoughts, feelings, and how I respond to the images. I am a firm believer of no longer pushing away my feelings. If I am sad I allow myself that sadness. I find by doing that my body accepts it and the feeling will pass. Almost like I need to acknowledge that feeling. After so many years of burying bad feelings and keeping "busy" as a means in which I didn't have to deal with them, they now need to find a way to be released.
    Thinking of you all as we journey forward! Hugs!
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much, all. Some good ideas. And you bothered to answer even though this is on the wrong page :)

    Wiser, what soul cards do you have that help you, if you don't mind sharing.

    I.am starting to calm down on my own...maybe I just needed to write it down. In black and white, without feeling in any way restricted since Dad is in spirit now, I could plainly see that my peeps were and are at worst very sick, at best just not nice and control freaks. I needed to get the cop calls out of my system. They had always been troubling me and right under the surface. I had to get it out about how often she did that, even after we left the state. Funny, she used to warn me never to even do a well check on her. She knew that the cops at your home raise eyebrows and she didnt want that. Well neither did my husband and I but she didn't care.

    After calling the cops umpteen times she still had the gall to call or text my husband when she wanted to sneak her way back into my life, as she always eventually did. She is not stupid. But it didn't occur to her that maybe he loathed her for what she had done with the cops...haha. He did!

    Anyhow (I guess I still have some venting left...sorry) these crazy calls were never addressed with my sister. If I tried to bring up anything that bothered me, she would turn it on me. Yet I had to apologize for what she felt I did to her. Once, when I told her the Gods honest truth, she sneered ( and she DID sneer) "I will NEVER believe that." But I had told her the truth and she just did t like it (shrug).

    Anyhow, writing down the truth, and it is all true, makes me see that this person was more than just abusive to me... That she would have happily send me to to jail to shut me up. Thankfully, there is Freedom of Speech.

    I know things about her, especially financially, that could interfer with her cash flow. It would not be hard for me to find a way to contact the person she is cheating with evidence since it relates to our inheritance and we both got the same amount. Funny, I am not doing it. I think she would have.


    But I am in a better place now and look forward to Jumper's graduation and party next week. Plus after six weeks of interviewing on and off, Jumper is very close to being hired for the county jail job! Big salary, and benefits as long as a roll of toilet paper and close enough to us that she can meet us for lunch!

    In the end, my real family is what and who is important.

    I thank everybody for listening.

    "This too shall pass."
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Memories can be like splinters. You can get a splinter in your finger that goes in quite deep, you may not even know it's there but the body over time works to purge it out by bringing it to the surface. When it makes its way to surface it can be very painful and a infected with puss. Once we remove the splinter our finger will begin heal.
    When old memories work their way to the surface of our conscience mind, like the splinter they can be painful.
    Ignoring the splinter will not make it go away, it's the same with painful memories.

    For myself, when I have those moments I remind myself that they are just memories, they are in the past, they have no power over me and I am much stronger for having survived them. We do not have to be defined by our past hurts but we can learn from them and gain strength from them.

    As you know, my bio-father sexually abused me from age 2 till 7. For many years when I would see a father playing with his daughter, say tickling her, my mind would automatically become suspicious. I just knew that he was abusing her. This was a very warped way for me to view the world. I couldn't tell you when it happened but I decided to make a conscience choice and effort to stop thinking that way. When I would come upon that scene I would think instead, what a beautiful normal relationship. I would fill joy for the little girl that she had a loving father.
    Changing my thought process has been a huge part of my healing. It's not something that happens overnight and there are time I will catch myself slipping but am quick to recognize it and change the thought process.

    How exciting for your dear husband to retire this month. Congratulations!!! And your daughter graduating, so wonderful. You have worked so hard to have the wonderful life you now have.

    Let those old memories work their way up, feel the pain for the moment, pluck them out, and let the healing continue.

    ((HUGS)) to you sweet lady!
     
  9. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    When negative memories try to rob me of my new found joy, I literally say stop. This interrupts the conscious flow. This allows me to actively refocus.
     
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I find that walking daily really clears my head and relieves stress. I don't walk every day but do most weekdays at lunch. We even walk in the cold inside the parking garage; not as much fun but it still helps. I read a study that said that within 11 minutes of walking your brain makes significant changes.

    I read true crime. I have always found it fascinating. It makes me feel thankful I'm not married to a murdered? LOL I don't know but I just like it.:bigsmile:

    At night I like to play games on my IPad. I find that very relaxing and seems that it has to be good brain stimulation too.

    I pray for peace for myself and peaceful thoughts.

    Wine/vodka
    :wine:
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love you all. I really do. You are so understanding.

    Tanya, you make me feel bad about whining. You are one trooper. I am going to hold my head up today and smile, buy coloring books, maybe sign up for Reiki lessons (I have been looking into this) and I see a spiritual therapist today for a Past Life Regression. I am very excited! Jumper is dropping by after her psychiatric evaluation for the jail job and my husband is off. I think we will take her out to our favorite restaurant and see if Sonic wants to come too! And if a "bad" thought enters my mind I am going to say "Stop!" and replace it with a grateful prayer. So I am combining all of your ideas.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Swot, I am so sorry for all of the hardship you endured growing up. I remember our discussions in FOO and when your father was ill, you had to deny it all. I knew in my gut something was not right. Maybe that is part of what is causing you to review past issues. That at a very difficult time in your life, you had to repress your truth.
    When we lose a beloved parent that is traumatic in of itself. But, you are free now to express your feelings. I think letting it out is a good thing. I also think that family ties are so deep, when our own family members hurt us it is especially difficult to deal with.
    I regret some of the things I expounded upon about my sis. But, it is true that I was extremely emotionally bullied as a child. I did not feel safe at home. I am glad that I was able to explore that in my “FOO” chapters with you, Copa and Cedar and the others that chimed in. My sis says I have to put all that behind me, stop “living in the past”. I don’t feel that I live in the past, but it is a part of me. We don’t see each other often, but when we do and disagree, it is almost as if I am thrown back to those days. She assumes a bullying, know it all stance and can’t have a calm discussion with me. I tell her I am not that little 7 year old she can push around.
    Okay, sheesh, you got me venting now!
    I look at past trauma as a sort of training. I believe there is a reason for everything, and we are meant to learn from challenges. Life is just not fair, has many ups and downs and tests our resilience. I am glad that my Dad and Mom taught me to try to look at the blessings I have.
    I like to take walks and pray. I listen to Steely Dan, Yes, Pink Floyd, and alternative music, classical and country. The beach always calms me and I love to hunt for seaglass and shells. Gardening is freeing. When I feel down, I let myself feel what I need to. I don’t go out and put on a happy face. I find that there are times (especially around full moons) that I need to be by myself and just think, write or draw.
    I love color and have many brightly hued accent walls in my home.
    I am an old hippy and find essential oils like patchouli and lavender to be calming. I am surrounded by paisley decor.
    All of the things that make me, me. Honoring that and striving to better myself, I think that is what helps to set me free from past hurts and trauma.
    Living in the present is important, but I think we all carry our inner child still, and if past memories appear, it is because we were not able to address them as children. As adults, we are able to roll through those tapes and embrace those unexpressed, or repressed feelings.
    Many people have grown up in difficult circumstances, domestic violence, abuse, etc. Some are able to overcome and use those experiences to develop kindness and empathy towards others. Some are deeply wounded and scarred and display a mean spirit.
    I think that you have chosen the higher path and are a shiny diamond. I wonder if your diagnosis was due to the trauma you experienced, you seem to be such a stalwart, stable and resilient person Swot. You have shared so much of your kindness and wisdom throughout this site and use your experiences to help others.
    Grief comes in many different colors and tones. I am finding coming up on the second year of hubs passing, that I am reeling those tapes leading up to his death. I think it is because the first year is so full of the essentials of just surviving, figuring out finances and all of that. I think it is so important to let ourselves go through what we need to, to process our emotions.
    Love and light to you dear lady.
    You deserve to be treated with love kindness and respect.
    There are just toxic people in the world who find reasons to be hurtful to others. It is unfortunate that some of them can be our blood.
    But, there are those who are not blood who can become our family.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much, dear Leafy.

    This is an update. I just had a two hour session with my spiritual (not religious) therapist. I learned so much. I totally believe we pick our people for our spirt's learning and evolution. I was able to tell him EVERYTHING I lived through and then we focused my sister. I spent a long time explaining our troubled history.

    He told me that my sister is my hardest lesson (he felt she is narc or borderline by my description of her behavior and maybe it's true) but I definitely put up with a lot from her, and her behavior was very odd. Sadly I am still emotionally hanging on to my sister, which is not helpful toy growth.

    The cure to this problem is plain old fashion acceptance. She is what she is. She did what she did. She does what she does. My challenge is to ACCEPT all she did and let it go. I think this is powerful and very life changing advice. Acceptance. What a great word! I am feeling very empowered now and need to do the hard work of acceptance and letting go. I feel more distant and accepting already.

    Hopefully it will not be hard to keep it up. This is holding back my soul's growth and I want to keep doing the work I came here to do.

    Thanks for listening. Thanks ALOT for listening. Love to you all. You are amazing.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Yes, acceptance is what can really set us free. I also believe forgiving others is a big part too.

    I don't know who coined it but there is a saying "holding onto bitterness towards someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die" This saying has really helped me to forgive and let go.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful therapy session today.
    :staystrong:
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did.

    I already forgave my family.My sister was harder to forgive because no doubt shesknew the games she played with me, but she had a crappy childhood too and she maybe needed to take it out on someone.

    My awesome therapist and I decided that I kept missing the lesson I was supposed to learn from her by my taking her back over and over again. Since the lesson is probably learning self care and acceptance,better in this lifetime than needing to learn this same lesson in another lifetime. I believe in reincarnation.

    I feel calm now,my husband driving beside me. My daughter is coming over. Truly, all is good in my world. Acceptance. It is what it is. Let go.
     
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  16. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    Hi there...the soul cards I use are by Deborah Koff Chapin. I have the first and second set. they are lovely.
     
  17. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I think the acceptance and forgiveness piece is awesome. There is another tool which I learnt through my work. Its called "gravity". So when we are confronted with an issue, we ask ourselves, is there anything I can do about this? If not it is a gravity issue..it falls to the ground. Sometimes envisioning this helps to let some things go. So for your sister, you cant change her, she is what she is. The only thing you have control over is your reaction to it. Hugs and glad to hear you are feeling better.
     
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, wiser! I will look them up. I LOVE your gravity issue and agree that forgiveness and acceptance is best.

    I forgive my sister. I don't think she feels she did anything wrong, so I can't really hold her accountable. And I accept that this is how she is. She truly believes what she says as I believe what I say.

    The truth is, I am not doing myself or my energy or others any good to hang onto what I can't change and I feel much better now. I will never see her again in this lifetime so it does no good to care. Perhaps the reason, at least on my part, for choosing her as a sister was to learn the lesson of acceptance. This can be hard for me, but I am doing it. It has been a bit bumpy, but I am getting it. I am learning I can love and accept from afar.

    On the positive, I am making myself a spiritual box to travel with so that I have soothing, comfortable, familiar, uplufting items when my husband and I move and then travel. I saw this idea online and love it. The cards would be perfect for that. Am going to look them up as soon as I get off my phone.

    Wiser, do you find any particular candle scents calming? I have some scents I like but would love to try more.


    Thank you, wiser.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  19. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    i am hooked on lavender. We spray it on our pillows before we go to sleep and it calms me immediately. I like to try anything. any ideas?
     
  20. DadInProgress

    DadInProgress Member

    Is past life regression the same as hypnosis?

    I did a series of hypnosis treatments for childhood trauma that really helped.

    Also, holotropic breathing was incredibly effective.

    I also did some moxa burning, Accupunture and cupping. All made me feel physically better, which may have helped trauma.