Emotional Memories

Emotional memories are those memories that have one or more emotion attached to them.  The memories will put you back into the place that you were when the event first happened.  This is most commonly know as a flashback.  It is trauma related and it is not easy to deal with emotional memories.  Until you do, however, they will run your life for you.  The important thing is to have control over those emotions and not have them controlling you.  There are several way you can handle this.  Not doing anything is one way, allowing those memories to be triggered unexpectedly, without warning and invade your life without your being able to stop them is one way.  Most people do not like that idea, but have no idea how to stop it.  The more efficient way is to do trauma therapy.  The way trauma therapy works is to talk about it, write about it or draw about it until it becomes neutralized.  It becomes just another memories without the emotion attached.  Often times during the trauma event we are so focused on surviving that we do not deal with what we are feeling at the time.  The brain needs to file things away and it will continue to remind you about the trauma until it is able to file it away.  The premise for trauma therapy works much like  a person who enjoys watching horror films or is a thrill seeker.  In the beginning you are turning your eyes away at the slightest scary thing that is on the screen.  After a while that same film will be laughed at because it does not have the same effect, your brain has neutralized it for you. You need something scarier to get the same feeling.  The thrill seeker starts out getting a rush from small adventures and months or years into it they need more and more dangerous adventures to get the same rush.  They  have neutralized the thrill.  Neutralizing the trauma means that you have detached the emotion from the memory and now when the memory is triggered you have only the memory and the unattached emotion.  You may remember that you were afraid, angry and/or crying but you will not feel those emotions again.  You will only remember that you were feeling them at the time.

In order to begin trauma therapy you will have to be relaxed enough to trust the person to whom you are confiding .  That is not easy when you have been traumatized.  Trust can be illusive.  Take your time, you will regain the trust you need with time.  It is not something that can easily fixed, be patient with yourself and the therapist.  It is important that you are able to trust again and disengage the emotion from the memory.  All of that takes time.  Relaxing and letting go of those things you have no control over are important in order to begin the process.   This will help.  Click here for the link to the videos    Enjoy!

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The emotional brain

The emotional brain is where  we store all of the emotions attached to any experience we have had that is still unresolved.  The brain will continue to bring it up in an attempt to resolve the issue so it can file it away only to be retrieved when we  choose to do so.  If it is unresolved, it will come up unexpectedly when something similar happens in our present day life, that is the emotional brains way of saying, lets file this away, this is our chance.  .  The memory is also attached to the emotions we were feeling at the time of the event.  We will also respond with those emotions until the original event is resolved.  If we were 5 years old at the time of the original event, we will respond with whatever emotions that 5 year old was feeling at the time.  If it was a traumatizing event, then emotionally we will be stuck at 5 years old, emotionally. Even though chronologically we may be 55 years old.  It also usually means that we are using substances to deal with the emotions and pain from that original event, no one has taught us to do anything different.  It also seems easier then dealing with the past that is keeping us stuck.  We are allowing a 5 year old to run our emotional lives, or however old you were at the time of the original event.  The child needs it resolved so it can feel safe, it needs whatever reassurances it did not get when you were 5 years old.    It will leave you alone then to act maturely and not wonder :”where the heck did that come from”.    You can resolve these issues through the drawing or writing exercises.  First your dominant  hand and then your non-dominant hand.  Remember your non-dominant hand is your emotional brain and will respond as the frightened child.  Give them what you did not get, but needed way back then.  Tapping is also a proven way to reprogram your brain and develop new patterns.  Resolving the issues with the people involved with the original event is not the end and often times cannot be done for various reasons.  The person{s} involved may be dead or unwilling to cooperate in resolving your issues with them.  You can resolve it anyway.  You will need to let go of what you cannot resolve and resolve what you can.  Healing the little kid inside, the one holding on to the emotions, can be resolved.  If you will use the writing or drawing exercises and tapping  you can resolve those events that are still causing you pain.  You will need to stop drinking and drugging first, however,  so your brain can actually function as it is suppose to function and remember what you have healed.   This relaxation exercise and guided imagery video will help.   Click here for the link to the videos.    Enjoy!

Quiet People

I  have always been a quiet person.  With my first abnormal psychology class I even explored the possibility of being a person with Aspergers, which is a high functioning autism.  It is not uncommon to identify with disorders found in an abnormal psychology book when you are beginning your trek through the world to being a therapist.  I also found myself diagnosing my family, because as a child I observed a lot of things and did not feel the need to comment. There was no need to compete, no need to comment, no need to prove people wrong about what they thought of me.  I am still that way.  The reason I came to the conclusion that I did not have Aspergers is because I have a filter in my frontal lobe.  Just because it comes into my mind does not mean I have to either say it or act on it.  I can sit quietly by and think a lot of things and not feel the need to express one of them.  This did not sit well with my family.  We are a family of talkers and anyone who does not have an expressed opinion is considered slow, stupid, mentally challenged. I was considered mentally challenged because I did not talk about anything unless I felt it was important enough to talk about. I saw my family as talking a lot about nothing.  There are a lot of things I do not consider important enough to talk about because I truly do not care about them or what happens with them.  The not talking also was brought into the classroom and I had few friends during my school years.  I did not feel a need for too many friends and found the giggling and the drama unnecessary and silly.  I was voted most unamiable at 8th grade graduation.   When I looked up what the word meant I was surprised because I did not consider myself unfriendly, just shy.  As I got older I began to show people a sense of humor and used the humor to get through a lot of situations and still do, especially stressful situations.  I am still quiet and do not feel a need to express an opinion even though I may have a differing opinion then yours I am able to sit and listen to yours, respect it without commenting and unless you directly ask me my opinion you may never hear it.  The teachers at school spoke to me as though I were slow, mentally challenged or deaf.  I knew it, but had no idea how to make it different.  I was often called on even though I did not raise my hand.  I knew the answer but could not get my mouth to work enough to say it because I had just been put on the spot and was unprepared to speak about anything.  This of course brought ridicule from my peers at the first opportunity.  I learned how to defend myself verbally and physically and reinforced the idea that people were untrustworthy and you were on your own to defend yourself against them.  That is how I came to defend my younger sisters as well.

I still do not have many friends and do not need many.  I am still quiet and use my sense of humor to get through a lot of things.  I have found a voice but still do not need to express feelings or thoughts about what you might be telling me or talking about,  I am able to stand up in front of crowds of people and teach or speak without anxiety.  I have learned that I am not stupid or unamiable. I am content with who and what I am and know that I will continue to grow and become fully who I might eventually become.   This is not always as easy as it sounds and often is a lot of hard work.  I have people in my life that I can rely upon to tell me the way it is and if I am just kidding myself.  They are valuable to me because they make me a better me.  I also use this video to help me put thing I have no control over into a box and relax about those thing I cannot change.   Click here for the link to the videos.   Enjoy!

Loving yourself

Loving yourself is not as easy as it might seem.  If you come from a dysfunctional family, like most of us do, it is not easily done.  The things you were told as a child will continue to come up if you don’t face them, and as we all know, facing them is hard.  Facing them you must do, however, if you want to move forward in your life without  repeating the patterns from your past.  Doing the work is not easy, it can be intense and emotional which is why people just want to forget it.  You may repress the memory(s) but it will crop up when you least expect it and again you will be wondering “where the heck did that come from?”.   It is because it was traumatizing for you to experience it the first time. There are emotions there that need to be dealt with in a mature manner and loved away because it wasn’t done when you were little.   You can do it for yourself.  Talk to that little kid that is still hurting.  Write or draw what that child is feeling.  If you are writing write to the child, do it with your dominant hand and give them permission to tell you what they are feeling.  Then switch to your non-dominant hand and write whatever comes.  Whatever comes is what the core issue is and you can then switch to your dominant hand and comfort that child by writing what it needs to hear in order to heal. Tell them it is okay to let go and you will protect them now.  Do this until it is healed and stops coming up.  The reason you use your non-dominant hand is because that is your emotional brain and that is where traumatized memories live.  Your little kid is holding on to them and controlling them for you until you deal with them.   If you are like most of us there will be more then one thing that continues to come up from your past.  If you are drawing you can do the same thing.  There is also something called Tapping that is effective for changing patterns in your brain and healing trauma.  The first thing in trauma therapy is to relax enough to be able to look at those things that are patterns in your life.  This will help you do that.   Click here for the link to the video.    Enjoy!

Trust

Trust is a fragile thing.  It is usually given until someone proves untrustworthy.  Once the trust is broken it will be difficult to get back.  The person now has to earn it back, only  if the person they betrayed  allows them back in their lives.  Breaking trust hurts both people.  It diminishes the person who did the betraying and it makes the person who was betrayed second guess themselves.  They may become guarded with who they allow in their lives, if it was a loved one who did the betraying they may have difficulty trusting anyone again.  Not everyone is untrustworthy however, and trying to figure out who is and who is not, is a difficult thing to know.  Most of the feelings that a person who has been betrayed feels is that they should have known and that they are stupid for not knowing.  Blaming yourself for not seeing the betrayal before it happened is unrealistic, especially if it is coming from someone who is suppose to love you.  Once it happens you need to forgive yourself for not seeing it and for being the human you are.  Doing what you can about the situation and letting go of the rest.  Placing the rest in the box and letting go is critical for you to be able to trust again.  Using this relaxation and guided imagery video  will help you do just that.   Click here for the video’s  Enjoy!

Forgiveness

Most people believe that forgiving someone means that the person that hurt us is no longer responsible for what they did to us, that they do not have to make it up to us any longer, that whatever they did is removed from their history with us.  That is not true.  Whatever happened between you is still there, the only thing that changes when you forgive someone is that you put the burden of carrying their responsibility around with you. Not forgiving someone is like carrying around a sack on your back and every time someone does something to you, you put a rock in the sack and fling it over your back and carry it around.  Pretty soon you are slumped over trying to carry this sack and people are looking at you like there is something wrong with you.  The person that hurt you does not even remember the incident and you are still carrying around the hurt.  The only person who is hurt by that is you.  Carrying it around hurts you on a daily basis.  Forgiving people allows you to put down the sack of rocks and move on with your life.  It does nothing to or for the other person.  They are still responsible for whatever they did and will eventually pay for it.  Not your concern, your concern is moving on with your life and not allowing the hurt to stop you from living your life.  When you do that, they win.  When you forgive, you move on and they lose.  You remain the person you have always been and did not allow them to change you and make you bitter.  You did allow yourself to learn lessons from the event so it will not happen again, you just didn’t put it in a sack and carry it around with you for the rest of your life.  No one and nothing is worth that burden.  Here is my guided imagery video to help you get rid of the sack of rocks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxfXvKoRJ53hEQ8p1TTmAaw

Instantaneous emotion

If there is instantaneous emotion related to an event or situation that has just happened,  it has more to do with what just got triggered within you then what just happened.  It will be more about what happened in the past that also caused that emotion then what just happened now.  That is because that event was unresolved and with that event comes all of the emotions that you were feeling at the time.  Resolving that event will be more about recognizing the past event and trying to resolve it within yourself and then possible with the people involved.  If for whatever the reason you cannot resolve it with them, then letting it go.  Not letting it go will mean that every time a similar event happens it will trigger those same emotions.  You will find yourself caught up in feelings that some times have nothing to do with what just happened.  You will be asking yourself “what was that about?” because the emotions may not necessarily match the event.  Look at the event,   let it go and move on .  Hanging on to it will only hurt you.  Using relaxation exercises and guided imagery will help you to do that.   Click here for the video’s.   Enjoy!