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Decision-making fear: a long term effect of trauma and abuse

LizBo

LizBo

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Please excuse the long rhetoric. To find peace or acceptance, words are my friends.

I consider myself a strong person; I've had to be. I'm managing my mental health and recovery as best I can while still, after all these years, hiding my (current) truth from family/friends.

Long-term effects of traumas are probably many, but one major consequence is how my decision-making process has become fear based instead of directed toward achievement, feeling a productive member of society and being goal focused. I want to be motivated without distraction, but the reality is learning to survive with what's left over within my broken brain.

My abusers were all in positions of authority, or perceived authority such as loved ones I put on a pedestal. I see power mungers using subterfuge and bullying to drown out our voices, passion and resolve of anyone brave enough to challenge them, each time I turn on the TV. Am I scared to reach out toward my goals? Hell yeah!

It's not 'them' mind you, it's me and my confidence, an attribute pre breakdown I took for granted. They finally broke that spirit in me because I didn't have their ability to lie, attack, 'lose' documents, gas light, physically/emotionally/mentally harm; just to name a few. Playing 'their' game from a subordinate position and inexperience is of course destined to fail.

So now, I know that to get back on the horse I have to learn to thrive among these abusers. Decisions don't come easy. I'm weighed down with procrastination, what-ifs and the big picture instead of small steps, a process I've come to succeed at in recovery, but struggle with re career goals.

I really don't want to consider myself 'disabled', but I feel that way sometimes.

I just wanted to vent today. I was going to call a helpline to chat, but writing my thoughts, as always, helps me gain focus and reel in my dissociated self.

I don't know if those reading will benefit or engage, but I have a feeling many members could relate.
Thanks for listening...
Kind thoughts;
Liz x
 
soul searching

soul searching

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You may not be as broken as you think. I personally can't imagine going back into the lion's den.
You are very brave.
 
GeminiMoon

GeminiMoon

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You are right Liz. Your feelings are very easy to relate to. But nobody is broken. I heard that a long time ago but I didn't believe it. Dealing with it meant facing my trauma which I didn't think I could do. So instead of having hope I gave up. You can do it.

The media focuses on and glamourises the negative. It can be best to avoid it when going through recovery. I watched recovery videos instead. They show a positive outcome and give useful tips.

It can feel like even if we do recover we'd still be in the same situation. We still have to deal with those people that put us there in the first place. Read up and watch videos about abusive people (narciscists and anti-social) to find out how they operate so you can learn how to respond to it and protect yourself. They can be so subtle you don't even notice it happening till it's too late. It can even be as innocent seeming as a compliment to create cognitive dissonance. That knowledge brings confidence and strength. Funnily when you figure it out they try even harder because they found someone who is a challenge. And you're like "Yeah...nope!" I see what you are doing.

Best wishes
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Many thanks for your kindness @SunnyDaze, @Fairy Lucretia and compliment from @JessisMe :) Your thoughts are important to me.

Thankyou @Soulsearching for your vote of confidence. Yes, the lion's den is a good representation of situations I've endured, as you have as well going by your response.

I see you're from the US; I was purge watching YouTube clips of California Representative Katie Porter grilling people in Congress. (I hope this is the right term) Her assertive style really appeals to my disempowered self. However, after hearing her informative (and shocking) questions which she tends to visualise on whiteboards, and the less than appropriate answers from the accused, a sinking feeling came over me.

That feeling intensified watching a documentary series on sexual abuse in a US Catholic high school (Keough) and cover-ups by the church, police, govt officials and the legal fraternity. (Related to the murder of a teacher; nun Sister Kathy Seznik)

It wasn't just the helplessness of investigators and stakeholders that disturbed me, it was a deep sense of empathy for people living in the US who're trying to cope with the impact of power abuse and the arrogance and sense of non apologetic entitlement from these individuals.

The unbelievable Covid cases and deaths, Black Lives Matter protests and lack of govt leadership to address these and more catastrophic issues plaguing your country, are seen/heard around the world. We're listening and praying for your country's recovery.

Kindness;
Liz
 
LizBo

LizBo

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You are right Liz. Your feelings are very easy to relate to. But nobody is broken. I heard that a long time ago but I didn't believe it. Dealing with it meant facing my trauma which I didn't think I could do. So instead of having hope I gave up. You can do it.

The media focuses on and glamourises the negative. It can be best to avoid it when going through recovery. I watched recovery videos instead. They show a positive outcome and give useful tips.

It can feel like even if we do recover we'd still be in the same situation. We still have to deal with those people that put us there in the first place. Read up and watch videos about abusive people (narciscists and anti-social) to find out how they operate so you can learn how to respond to it and protect yourself. They can be so subtle you don't even notice it happening till it's too late. It can even be as innocent seeming as a compliment to create cognitive dissonance. That knowledge brings confidence and strength. Funnily when you figure it out they try even harder because they found someone who is a challenge. And you're like "Yeah...nope!" I see what you are doing.

Best wishes
In addition to my above post, (it was a bit long-winded) I'm grateful for your words of encouragement and advice. :respect:

Although I consider myself 'in recovery', every now and then information overload prompts old wounds that affect my mind and resolve. Episodes are less frequent these days, but the impact is always thought provoking and fortunately, lead to important life lessons thanks to feedback and support from members like yourself, and the opportunity to voice my concerns on this type of platform.

No, I'm not broken, but my scarred brain doesn't function the way it used to. Recovery is ongoing for survivors of trauma, so even though my daily life is now peaceful, confronting important decisions and challenges can be a struggle.

I enjoyed reading your post; an easy-going writing style. You're obviously well into your recovery, even without revisiting past hurts. Well done! We're all Warriors fighting the 'post war' good fight. It's as individual as faces in a crowd - pain you can see, internal stirrings you can't see and no wrong or right, just small degrees of recovery like a see-saw attempting to find balance.

Talking like this is good for the soul...
Liz x
 
soul searching

soul searching

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Many thanks for your kindness @SunnyDaze, @Fairy Lucretia and compliment from @JessisMe :) Your thoughts are important to me.

Thankyou @Soulsearching for your vote of confidence. Yes, the lion's den is a good representation of situations I've endured, as you have as well going by your response.

I see you're from the US; I was purge watching YouTube clips of California Representative Katie Porter grilling people in Congress. (I hope this is the right term) Her assertive style really appeals to my disempowered self. However, after hearing her informative (and shocking) questions which she tends to visualise on whiteboards, and the less than appropriate answers from the accused, a sinking feeling came over me.

That feeling intensified watching a documentary series on sexual abuse in a US Catholic high school (Keough) and cover-ups by the church, police, govt officials and the legal fraternity. (Related to the murder of a teacher; nun Sister Kathy Seznik)

It wasn't just the helplessness of investigators and stakeholders that disturbed me, it was a deep sense of empathy for people living in the US who're trying to cope with the impact of power abuse and the arrogance and sense of non apologetic entitlement from these individuals.

The unbelievable Covid cases and deaths, Black Lives Matter protests and lack of govt leadership to address these and more catastrophic issues plaguing your country, are seen/heard around the world. We're listening and praying for your country's recovery.

Kindness;
Liz
The political system is a real mess. The political fighting causes hatred in the country. I wish people would come to their senses. Being an optimist, I like to believe that we will eventually mature and discuss matters in a more intelligent and compassionate way. That might be a long way off, though.
I love to see a reporter or politician, take on a powerful person or company. Even if they can't win, just exposing the wrong doing is a victory.
Uncovering some horror is always disturbing. It teaches people to be careful, there are some really bad people out there.
Thanks for your prayers.
 
soul searching

soul searching

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Messages
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Location
Clearwater, Florida
Many thanks for your kindness @SunnyDaze, @Fairy Lucretia and compliment from @JessisMe :) Your thoughts are important to me.

Thankyou @Soulsearching for your vote of confidence. Yes, the lion's den is a good representation of situations I've endured, as you have as well going by your response.

I see you're from the US; I was purge watching YouTube clips of California Representative Katie Porter grilling people in Congress. (I hope this is the right term) Her assertive style really appeals to my disempowered self. However, after hearing her informative (and shocking) questions which she tends to visualise on whiteboards, and the less than appropriate answers from the accused, a sinking feeling came over me.

That feeling intensified watching a documentary series on sexual abuse in a US Catholic high school (Keough) and cover-ups by the church, police, govt officials and the legal fraternity. (Related to the murder of a teacher; nun Sister Kathy Seznik)

It wasn't just the helplessness of investigators and stakeholders that disturbed me, it was a deep sense of empathy for people living in the US who're trying to cope with the impact of power abuse and the arrogance and sense of non apologetic entitlement from these individuals.

The unbelievable Covid cases and deaths, Black Lives Matter protests and lack of govt leadership to address these and more catastrophic issues plaguing your country, are seen/heard around the world. We're listening and praying for your country's recovery.

Kindness;,
Liz,
Also, I doubt that my lion's den was much like yours. I've had schizophrenia for about 35 years. My work problems were a long time ago. There were some problems, but I think lot of it was caused by my schizophrenia. I'm still not sure how much of it was real and how much was imagined. Since it's ancient history, I don't really want to re-examine it. Had to leave that job, my career. Tried many lesser jobs but failed because of the schizophrenia. Don't know if I'll ever be able to hold down a job again. I might try volunteer work after I get on an anti-psychotic.
 
GeminiMoon

GeminiMoon

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Yes sorry for intruding on your thread. Some of the hurdles you mentioned were much same for me. I just wanted to share what I found helped. The "not broken" idea did stick in my mind even though I didn't believe it. Over the years I eventually faced it with varying levels of success and failure. It's definitely important to know that it is possible.

You obviously have a lot of empathy for others but remember not too much to your own detriment. It's great to hear you are coming to an equilibrium.

I remember reading something about brain lesions with trauma. I wouldn't worry about that. Depression would be a bigger concern. For the last year I've been teaching myself code writing which requires advanced mathematics. But in the dark fog of depression I had $1 and $2 in my hand and was trying add them together. It just wasn't coming to me.
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Also, I doubt that my lion's den was much like yours. I've had schizophrenia for about 35 years. My work problems were a long time ago. There were some problems, but I think lot of it was caused by my schizophrenia. I'm still not sure how much of it was real and how much was imagined. Since it's ancient history, I don't really want to re-examine it. Had to leave that job, my career. Tried many lesser jobs but failed because of the schizophrenia. Don't know if I'll ever be able to hold down a job again. I might try volunteer work after I get on an anti-psychotic.
You seem to have a great deal of self insight which is never a bad thing, and I agree my lion's den was different to your experiences. Even so, I'm glad you posted on this thread.

When my brain broke, (a term I like to use as it's the perfect metaphor) decision making wasn't an issue. At times I instinctively survived moment to moment on the edge of a knife. I don't talk about those times much anymore so I do understand why looking back isn't productive for you either.

Volunteer work is a great direction once you sort your meds out. I hope it's a stress free area to ease you back into a work environment without too much pressure. It's a brave move so well done for your courage to move out of your comfort zone.

My first job after recovery set in was on an acute ward of a psych hospital; best job I've ever had. As a MH Peer Worker with an employment history in the helping professions, I thrived which gave me the confidence I'd been looking for.

I do hope things pan out. :)
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Yes sorry for intruding on your thread. Some of the hurdles you mentioned were much same for me. I just wanted to share what I found helped. The "not broken" idea did stick in my mind even though I didn't believe it. Over the years I eventually faced it with varying levels of success and failure. It's definitely important to know that it is possible.

You obviously have a lot of empathy for others but remember not too much to your own detriment. It's great to hear you are coming to an equilibrium.

I remember reading something about brain lesions with trauma. I wouldn't worry about that. Depression would be a bigger concern. For the last year I've been teaching myself code writing which requires advanced mathematics. But in the dark fog of depression I had $1 and $2 in my hand and was trying add them together. It just wasn't coming to me.
Thanks for your concern Gemini, it's nice of you to support my efforts. We're never alone on this forum. :) I'm also glad you've had the courage to face aspects of your past. I like to think it's what we learn about ourselves that makes that journey worthwhile.

I like your anecdote about trying to add up coins in your hand. That fog is so real, yet describing it to others can sometimes seem pointless unless they've been there. I get it; I certainly do.

Brain lesions? I'm smiling; researching the brain after I was diagnosed not only helped me understand the whys, but was integral in learning to cope and recover. I have a yen for science, so similar to your maths project I put my efforts toward knowing my mental self more intimately.

An interesting topic is neuroplasticity. The brain can heal itself in many cases, but if it can't, it finds ways to bypass damaged sections and create new pathways to achieve objectives. This fascinated me because if it can do that, then the trickle down effect will be experienced in daily life, which it was. It made the term 'healing my tortured mind' a physical reality.

The effects of trauma is the basis of my new business; lecturing employees on the impact of workplace conflict, how to recognise signs of MH decline, coping strategies and using productive resources for advice. I was thinking of counselling as well, but my past causes triggers that impact my own well-being so that's been let go.

I hope to one day be doing this in schools to prepare young people for work. Passing on what I've learned from my own lived experience is an important goal and career choice.

Thankyou for engaging Gemini. Living alone I don't have the flow of conversation to prompt 'ah-ha' moments. Just writing has given me a new sense of resolve and direction.

Kind thoughts;
Liz
 
LizBo

LizBo

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@Soulsearching
I meant to say in my last post; "I hope things pan out for you". If you ever need to talk I'm here ok.
Liz
 
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