I recently read an article that suggested that when something traumatic happens, the thinking brain is not involved and the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in emotional response, gets set off and the person is flooded with feelings about which him or her doesn’t know what to think. it is not always think first then act.
That is why sometimes the cognitive memories of abuse can not be obtained and the emotional responses can come on their own unasked for. This can account for people who when overwhelmed by emotions don’t think straight and have strong urges to do something about them. They often do not understand where they come from. A long, long time ago a boy broke up with me while introducing me to his new girlfriend It was very humiliating and all I wanted to do was stop feeling. In the scheme of things that incident wasn’t important but the rush of emotion led to suicidal thoughts and even an attempt which I survived without telling anyone at the time.
This does explain why memories of abuse can not be found and why people acquire fears that can control their lives. Also if something happened that was so traumatic that there were not words to describe it, just an overwhelming flood of emotion. No matter it explains why it is too painful for some people to recover such memories. It is a little like a surgeon deciding to reopen an incision just to see if the surgery left any scars.
Earlier I wrote about don’t ask don’t tell. always expecting the worse to happen. This may actually be true in some cases. Young children are very fragile and they take threats seriously. If there is no place to go for love and comfort or at least they think so, lead to not being able to talk about something for fear of being rejected and where is a small child to go? when their own family rejects them.
Take little children’s fears seriously. They don’t understand things as easily as adults do. To them their fears and emotions are real and should be taken seriously and the child helped to cope.
Most parents and other people too have heard about little kids and seeing monsters under their beds or in their closets. It seems like a baseless fear, doesn’t it? It is not a baseless fear. Recently I have noticed in my dimly lit bedroom that things are not necessarily what they seem to be especially when I wake up in the middle of the night. I am also half asleep and easily confused. The things that I see (which I find out after I get my wits about me) are not what I thought they were. After reviewing the area on sensation and perception in my general psychology textbook for the course I was teaching, I found that the rods and cones in the retina that create the image that you will see. Rods are more on the edges of your eye and they see less clearly and the image that they produce is black and white.. They are very handy to have in dim light; but the sometimes blurry image they create in semidarkness doesn’t compare with the images we see in broad daylight when the cones are working and produce detailed and colorful images.
No wonder children are scared of the dark. It can be a spooky place when you wake up in the middle of the night. A nightlight only produces a little light or having the bedroom door open a crack does the same. This is when mostly the rods are working and what a child sees is black and white with vague contours. This could be easily interpreted by a young child as a boogie man or a monster. Yes, you could use this misconception to make a child stay in bed. It seems important that a parent should acknowledge that things look different at night just because it is dark. We often ‘do not see familiar things the way they look when there is more light.
I have been studying mindfulness and pay more attention to what I see and hear before deciding what it means to me. It is difficult to slow down the brain’s processing of visual stimuli as we do this fairly quickly because there might be something dangerous out there which needs a quick response. Is it no wonder children see monsters. Also it is usually at night and little sounds we ignore during the day because their is so much stimulation become louder and often we don’t recognize them and know what is making them. One of these things that I usually ignore is the sound of the ice maker working in my refrigerator unless it is otherwise very quiet. Could these noises be the sound of the monster moving around and getting into things. Add to this. a cat who doesn’t stay still and is wandering around getting into things. Your child has a right to be fearful, to be offered an explanation, and to have some how to deal develop some plan to deal with these confusing sensations with your child. Making fun of him or her will make it worse because now they think that they can tell nobody about but it still happens. Also children who have been abused often consider the perpetrator to be a “monster”. Someone they would have recognized in daylight that they don’t instantly recognize in the dark. What they did to them scared them and possibly even hurt them so it could only have been done by a “monster.”
For example when I wake up in the middle of the night, I don’t always initially recognize the lumps and bumps that are made by my husband sleeping besides me. Just think what this might cause people to do with post-traumatic stress syndrome who remain paranoid after being in dangerous situations especially where people might have died or been captured by gangs or enemy forces.and it could have been them. Also a child might not recognize the relative or family guest who abuses them in the night for the same reasons. They may get hurt, be scared, and know they are in danger but may be told by an adult that they were just seeing something that wasn’t there or had a nightmare.
On a lighter note the night before last I thought that a Christmas tree skirt and a white artificial “snow blanket were laying on top of my covers. I thought when I saw it that maybe I had left it out on top of the bed when I was cleaning the bedroom closet. I tugged and tugged but it wouldn’t cooperate and I couldn’t pull them off and and put them somewhere. It was actually the corner of the king size comforter covering my bed. I did eventually realize this and stopped trying to get it off my bed. Was it partially because I still was in a dream state that caused me to create this story about a tree skirt when it was actually just the edge of my comforter.
Also people (and I assume children) can talk and move about or even thrash in their sleep. Usually if woken up they don’t know what they were doing and also often their speech is not understandable. Children and adults need a safe place to sleep so that they can get their needed 7 to 8 hours for adults and even more for children. Don’t let it be a scarey place. I was afraid to sleep in the dark as a kid and used to sleep with a light on and a pillow over my head. I don’t feel that I would have needed to do these things if something had not happened to me to make me afraid of the dark.. I also usually did not have this problem if I was sleeping with someone in the same bed or in the same room. Also children who have been abused often consider the perpetrator to be a “monster”. Someone they would have recognized in daylight that they don’t instantly recognize in the dark and what they did to them scared them so it could only have been done by a “monster” not by somebody familiar.
Should you let your past determine our future? Well, yes and no. Have you ever held a grudge so long and so strong that you hogtied yourself to keep yourself from doing anything different in the future? Hate has captives. For the rest of their lives these people think that they have no choice but to repeat the past or to control their behavior in such a way as to avoid falling into a trap that they fell into in the past. Have you ever heard of superstitious behavior. This often happens when something happens just before something good or something bad happens and the person involved believes that they should either keep on doing that behavior or going into that situation or avoid it all together in the future when maybe it was just a coincidence. This is common among gamblers and athletes.
You have a mind. Use it. Learning should never stop and just because you have figured out one solution to a problem doesn’t mean you should always solve it that way in the future. Be flexible, be creative. Use the abilities that you were born with. Don’t rely constantly on other persons solutions to solve your problem. Just like shoes, other people’s solutions don’t always fit your situation just like Wearing other people’s shoes which might give you blisters, hammer toes or bunions, etc.
Sometimes even the “facts” that you learned as a child are erroneous and can trip you up. With “good” parenting, children can get an accurate picture of themselves and their good points and bad points. If parents have lots of problems themselves they can mess up their children’s lives sometimes permanently. Get some perspective on your situation when you were home growing up and see it with another person’s eyes. Children can often be gullible as they want to be loved and accepted. Some children have been raised by parents who still are children themselves and they may even see their children as rivals. This does not lead to doing or saying things that are in the best interests of the child.
With the voice of authority our inner voice of conscience often mimics what our parent said to us when we were a child. Others like teachers, grandparents, and neighbors can also effect not only your sense of conscience but also your self-concept whether it is good or bad. Time for a reality check here. Do your parents’ rules make sense now that you are an adult and on your own? We do many things by force of habit (which is good when you are going for a bicycle rid)e. Since most of these reactions are automatic, this makes it hard to change our behaviors even if they are self-defeating. For example, have you ever gotten your buttons pushed and reacted before you knew it letting the other person who pushed your buttons be in charge of your behavior? This can be a demanding, controlling, or dependent parent or a rebellious child who does not respect you, who thinks he or she is better than you, and who wants to control you, not be controlled by you.
The harder it is to change and the more self-defeating your learned behaviors are, the more likely you should seek professional help as anger and depression can follow from a deep searching of your past experience. It can destroy your equilibrium to delve too deeply or go too fast in your self-renovation project without good help. I am rereading a book as I write this, Toxic Parents, by Dr. Susan Forward. You can consult this book for more information and she also warns about applying this type of material to your situation. She does this at the end of the book.
Caution: you may not believe this warning but hear me out. Just because you are newly single and female whether it is due to divorce or to the death of your spouse, you do not have to go out or spend time with any man in your life who asks you. First of all that person is not being very sensitive about your situation and they may be assigning motives to you that you do not have. They maybe projecting their needs and wants onto you and an acceptance by you of an invitation is seen as consent in their eyes to something more than a mere friendly outing.
Date rape is another name for a kind of rape; but the woman who gets raped has consented to go somewhere with someone where she will be alone with him and he sees it as an invitation or opportunity to satisfy his needs and does not accept her refusal of his advances towards her as “No”. because he sees her agreeing to go out with him as a tacit agreement to take the relationship a step further one that she finds out once they are alone together that she is not willing to take; but feels forced to comply with to get out of the situation safely. But of course, it is not true. It never was safe to have to cooperate with a “date rapist.” .
This may lead to women in this situation to requiring a chaperon or only going out with other women or in groups and never getting off by themselves with a man. Some perceive a newly divorced woman or newly widowed woman as “open season” to try to get them into bed and any response no matter how timid by the woman is seen as an acceptance of the inevitable outcome anticipated by the man. I am not considering that women in this situation should remain celebrate for the rest of their lives; but they have to be cautious and may not be as perceptive of any ulterior motives in wanting to cheer them up and to get them out of the house.
Men, not to leave you out of the equation. I have heard of newly single men getting gifts of food delivered to their door by many different women and possibly the offer to satisfy some of their needs now they don’t have a woman in the house. Don’t believe that these gifts and offers don’t come with the assumption that the acceptance of such gifts and offers don’t come with the implication that you want more than that from these women.
Leopards, male and female, can change their spots when they learn that somebody is free game. With young people in some families courtships are very thoroughly investigated and chaparoned. If you are older, this still might not be bad advice for you. With a such an upheaval in the one’s life, one can be very vulnerable and can often make poor decisions while he or she is already under stress. I know of people who have done this and it seems to be best to wait a year or two before making any commitments. When it comes to divorce, people often get into the same type of relationship they had with their previous marital partner and don’t find this out until after they have made the mistake of getting attached to someone prematurely.
No, it is not true that all men are only looking for sex in a relationship and that all women who are single want to latch on to the next free man as a meal ticket.
PS: people often grieve after losing a relationship and grief comes in many “flavors.” What is appropriate for one might not be appropriate for someone else. If this happens to you or has happened to you, take your time, allow your grief to have an outlet (grief kept in can cause tremendous damage not only to the person who does this but also to the other remaining family members that they have contact with). Watch out for “shoulds” and quick fixes for your problems offered by somebody who really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.
Always watch out for people who immediately say that they know what your problem is and that they can solve it for you. Everybody’s problems are different. Some people get a “charge” out of telling other people what to do and criticizing them if they don’t do it and/or decide to do something else. A good resource is Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s material on death and dying where you will find her five stages of grief explained. Grief occurs after divorce too. Another resource is a group of widows and/or widowers who are all going through the same things. For divorced persons and widows and widowers with children, there is another possible resource, Parents Without Partners.
Forgive, forget, let go…. Taking things another step further…. If you feel that you have to forgive someone in order to let go, you might really never let go. Could it be possible that there is nothing to forgive and the very act of forgiveness is standing in the way of getting on with your life?
I had a very nasty? teacher once. He would rap your knuckles with a ruler if you did something that he thought deserved it. Altogether it was a very frustrating experience and I cried many tears over our encounters. I had just started grade school and he was a music director who got stuck teaching elementary school kids along with his other duties as organist and choir director. He was very temperamental as sometimes musicians and other artists are. Teaching was probably very frustrating for him and it probably kept him from spending all his time doing what he really desired to do. He made my life miserable and my cousin who was also in the same class room said that he picked on me when he could have left me alone. I admit I was a challenging child, a quick learner with a lot of creative ideas. It was difficult to keep me busy and I questioned his authority frequently.
For a long time I could not see this situation from his point of view. I had a very unhappy time while he was my teacher (He wasn’t the only teacher that I had that I had trouble with in elementary school.) The point was that in my school we had almost all male teachers and I don’t think any of them thought that teaching elementary school children was their life’s work like it was for women at that time. I had one good year i elementary school, the year I had a woman teacher.
Altogether it was an unfortunate experience and it did not help my self-esteem. My parents were also very frustrated with me being called to the office so often and their having had to come to school to talk about my behavior with my teacher or the principal.
Altogether it was a very frustrating experience for everyone. Now who should be forgiven, the teacher, my parents, myself? Sometimes saying that something has to be forgiven suggests malice aforethought. Weren’t we all doing the best we thought we could. I no longer see myself as a “bad” disobedient child, misunderstood maybe, but not bad. Did I have a “bad” teacher or did he do the best he could in the circumstances?
Was this teacher taking his anger out on the children in the class by expecting too much of them. Was he angry because he was being forced to teach when he would rather have been only in charge of music? My parents at that time like many parents in that era worried more about what other people would think and felt that children should be taught to respect their elders no matter what they were like.
Now that I can see more of the picture should I continue the anger and frustration by thinking that I have to forgive my elders for what they did to me when I was a child or should I let go with the understanding that they were only people that didn’t know better. To me forgiveness can require a lot of time and energy and it has the flavor of something that I must do for my own and others’ good. Letting go does not suggest that what they and what I did were right but that there was a lot of misunderstanding and confusion involved. Also to some extend, I was more concerned about what happened to my brother and cousin when they were in this teacher’s class with me. It is always more frightening to see somebody else get hurt when you are not them and don’t know how badly they might be suffering when you already know how painful it has been for you in the situation.
Hatred, anger when attached to letting go makes it a greater burden than it has to be. What might remain a burden for the “offender” to deal with no longer becomes one for you. The biggest satisfaction an offender might have is not doing the dastardly deed but the fact that the victims have to deal and live with the consequences forever. When it comes to this, the victim has to let go as the offender no longer has them in his or her grasp. I realized a couple of years that after my divorce many years ago, that I was still cogitating over how my ex had treated me towards the end of our marriage and how unhappy I was. and that he may have gone on merrily without me and started his life over forgetting I ever existed.
If you come from the northern part of this country, you may know about mosquitoes and how badly their bites itch and how you can create even bigger sores and create more irritation by scratching them, People who get them often feel they are helpless and can’t leave them alone. Often the next step is that you stop going outside in mosquito season and wound up being cooped up inside in the house during the hottest part of summer without air conditioning. Wouldn’t it been wonderful if you could have avoided that? You can avoid something similar by letting go of old past hurts.
Don’t regurgitate, don’t do what cows do and chew your cud again and again. Yes, learn from your past experiences but don’t let them monopolize the present or scar the future. Sometimes you don’t have to forgive you just need to let go and take what the future brings an opportunity to do something different and new.
CAUTION; A HISTORY OF SEVERE PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE AND SOMETIMES EVEN SEVERE MENTAL ABUSE REQUIRES PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE HANDLED ON ONE’S OWN. Abuse can also happen when you are an adult. Also do not let the abuser dictate how you handle the abuse.
Lately I have been “spouting off” in my dreams saying the things that I don’t? dare to say in real life. I really let other people have it when in my dreams I see them doing something that I see as wrong. I guess it helps to get it off my chest that way; but why do I not say these things as often when I am awake.
This of course may not be popular since the advent of women’s lib, but one thing seems to be true to me and that is that women often let men think that they support the mens’ opinions because they don’t want to argue because men often appear to think that there is only one right opinion and it is theirs and won’t agree with women because that is giving in and they don’t want to be be seen as losing. Women are often peacemakers in families and agree so as to not disagree and start a fight. Who is more often passive aggressive, women or men doing what they want to do but making the other person think that it was their idea and that doing it that way will be good for them
How many wars would we have if women had their way? How many wars are caused by people, often men, feeling justified in hurting, even killing others, because they don’t or will not believe what they do. They don’t just want to control others, they want to eliminate them.
Fear of death or torture can be an effective silencer of opposing points of view. Not only do I want to be able to do what I want to do; but also I want to be sure you will not just give me lip service permitting me to do it. It is like a rapist telling his or her victim; “I’m going to molest you and hurt you as I do it and you are going to like it, not just pretend to like it,” so as to avoid getting killed or even worse.
Sexual predators are addicted to sexual excitement and the subsequent release of pent up energy and. as they progress like addicts do, they require more and more in stronger doses of their “sexual” drug to achieve their payoff. What I am now hearing now is that blood lust is even worse and more horrible. Killing and torture become an end themselves, not just the means to an end’ and require more and more thrills so that the horrible deadly acts get worse and worse.
We are afraid of what other people think and even worse yet would do if we said, maybe even just thought, something that they wouldn’t agree with. Yes some things appear to be morally right or wrong and I believe there is such a thing as good and evil. Is it possible that the most important thing is that other people who are wrong would like us to think that way and keep our mouths’ shut and let them get away with “murder.”
Sometimes it is not a good idea to be nice all the time. What kind of an example do we provide to our children and others who might look up to us. Do we give more power to evil when we do this? Have we more power than they would like us to think. Why do we, in trying to be nice, give them more power instead of less. Do the oppressed have a voice? and what about the people who don’t know about it or, don’t want to know about it, should they keep silent and know or do nothing?
Something that is often apparent in Christian churches is that ministers and pastors and therefore their parishioners do not want to rock the boat and therefore, pray only for the world leaders in business and world affairs to have good judgment; but stop and think even if the leaders have it, will they use it appropriately. Would it be going too far to ask that those who have the best interests of the people in mind be put in positions of power and be supported by those who believe.
Asking others to stand for and work and pray for world peace is often not encouraged in public and sometimes not in church. Often only the pastors and leading members of the church can voice their concerns about this; but do they?.
Often in conventional churches, members are not advocated to stand up in front of the congregation and do this just as wives have been discouraged from contradicting their husbands and/or taking the place of leaders in the congregation. Women can do the work of the church; but to take the lead in the church is often not encouraged of women. Men may not be used to and/or accepting about the way women like to do things and subtly if not openly discourage this. Yet, women might be the strongest voice for peace we have whether in the home, in the community, or in the government.
As my dreams have shown me, I am unconsciously if not consciously standing up for my beliefs and my right to voice them. What about you? Should you and I keep quiet?
Children who know their limits are less obnoxious and thus nicer to have around. Do you want to set up your children so that people say, “Oh, my God, here come the Jones kids again.” Do you have relatives who you’d rather not see because of this problem? Is this because the parents are lazy or because they think that their children can do no wrong. Can you think of another reason?
Good behavior makes for a better school experience. Most children don’t want to get a red mark on their behavior chart. Civilizing or taming young human animals is not necessarily that teacher’s job. Just like a horse, some maybe most children need to learn how to get “broke” behave outside the home. If inside the home their are no limits and appropriate behavior is not taught, what is a child to do when he or she has to start meeting other people’s standards.? It is not doing a good service for the child to do this as eventually he or she will be the one to suffer long after you are gone.
Yes, it seems easier to not discipline or set limits at times; but children thrive under consistency and the modeling of appropriate behavior. They need to thrive under well-earned praise and require fewer and fewer prompts when out in public or in group settings. If this is not done then something like, “tough love” may need to be done when they are teenagers or young adults.
If you have been slipping and not meeting the standards yourself. Children are “tattle tails” and can you spank them for telling the truth about our inappropriate behavior. Relax not everybody is perfect and most children know this. They may even tell you this.
Have you ever had your house trashed by somebody’s children or even your own children when you were not there to supervise them? Isn’t it a nice job to clean up after them? No it isn’t. Once you establish limits, children will test you by doing the forbidden thing or by being creative and doing something else that is not completely forbidden under the rules you have set.
The best supervision is in operation a 100% of the time. Observe parents. Some parents when actively playing with their children do a good job of supervision; but once they have stopped playing with the children their attention is usually somewhere else. Other parents have a built in security system and even though they are doing something else can tell when a child is in trouble whether due to an accident or due to some mischief on his or her part. Multitasking and dealing with distractions make it difficult to get work done; but it is necessary when you have children even teenagers.
Often a parent has a tendency to spoil their child and not expect much out of him. The parent sometimes thinks that his or her child will have to toe the line soon enough anyway. They think they are doing them a favor especially if the parent had few opportunities or things as a child and/or had to do housework or care for younger children. The parent doesn’t spoil his or herself but focuses on the children having what they didn’t have and not being too strict and expecting adult behavior out of children. Please take the middle road and save some resources for you the caregiver. Remember the inflight announcement about the parent needing to put on the oxygen mask so he or she will be able to attend to their child?
Please note that sometimes parents have children who by temperament or because of developmental problems, are difficult to discipline or maybe even to love. Seek help from a childcare specialist, family, and friends and other parents. Also Look for support groups with those who have dealt with similar problems such as colic, autism, hyperactivity. When I became a mother at a later age, I found that associating other (usually younger) mothers of infants and toddlers. Some people organize play groups and take turns having it at their house.