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anxiety

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Arguments And Fear Of Upset Feelings

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgI just talked about fear and the biggest fear is of fear itself.  If we don’t talk about things until one of us, either partner gets mad, then it is hard to overlook how bad it makes us feel and deal with the issues themselves.

I don’t know about you but my very sense of security can be threatened.  It got this way in my first marriage and maybe if we had the fights that we did when we were divorcing all along, the marriage could have been better.

Not trusting your partner is very destructive in a relationship; especially not trusting them to make a fair compromise and to not penalize you for bringing something up that needs to be dealt with.

Why People Can’t Change

Why people can’t change:

1.  They would have to admit they were wrong about something.

2.  They might have to make some other changes too.

3.  It would take too much time.

4.  They are waiting for somebody else to change first.

5.  They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.

6.  They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.

7.  Having to be always right even if it kills you.

Why they should change:

1.  To stop putting money down a rat hole.

2.  To become an example for somebody else.

3.  To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.

4.  To save more  time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.

5.  To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.

6.  To learn something new.

In the long run there are great benefits:  For example, learning to drive as an adult.  Erased my dependency on others.  Gave me freedom.

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Whistling In The Dark?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgSmall children not only have problems with object recognition in a dimly lit bedroom, they also in early childhood as young as two or three have good imaginations often telling adults that they see or hear something vividly that is only a figment of their very colorful imagination.  Combine the two and they were easily could see monsters in the dark which their parents then tell them aren’t real and that they should act as if they are not there and go to sleep.  What this really means is that they still “see” monsters but know they have to act as if they weren’t there.

When a child is in bed, they see things from a different perspective than the one they have when they are sitting up or moving around the room.  There is the psychological concept of object permanency which is used when a child is able to see an object such as a bottle from different angles and in different types of illumination and still know that it is a bottle and treat it like one.

Another difference is the rods in the retina pick up and transmit the effect of a black and white picture which is more blurry than that the  very sharp image that the cones give in brilliant color (which are in the center of the retina) in very bright light.  Yes, black and white images in photos and motion pictures are almost gone and “little” ones are probably not familiar with them.The-Sacred-Shadow-Header-1024x462Could this be the origin of fears of sleeping in the dark which are topped off by the parent telling them that what they see and what it looks like (how they perceive it) is wrong and their feelings about it are foolish and should be denied so that the parent (not necessarily the child) can relax and go back to sleep thinking that they have banished the monsters effectively and gotten the child to believe there are no monsters in his or her room when they have done no such thing.  What they really have done has made the situation more scarey because the child still believes there are monsters but his or her parents don’t believe it and now they can’t depend on their parents for help and must face the perceived danger alone and probably without a light to illuminate the dark and scarey corners.

Don’t make children deny their feelings, they don’t go away, they just stay out of sight.  They must be seen from the child’s point of view.  For example, mommy, daddy, there is the monster over there and there is his head, there are his eyes and there are his hands and he has claws sticking out.  See he is breathing.  Fuzzy images in the near dark do look like they might be moving or breathing.  It can happen also from a child’s changes in perspective.rp_3363953427_ba6fe42f32_m.jpg

Recently I have been conducting experiments of my own.  There is a night light on in our master bedroom and I often wake up very early in the morning while it is still dark outside and I see things in the shadows and they even seem to move or look unrecognizable especially my husband’s clothes hung on the bedpost or the covers pushed up in a pile at the end of the bed.  It seems very easy to not realize what I am really looking at and could easily identify in broad day light. I’ve seen a goblin with a shiny eyes and a big male pig laying there with two twitching ears.  I have even reached out to touch the apparition in order to satisfy myself as to what the image really is.

Acknowledge Your Feelings But Don’t Let Them Control You

amygdalaFeelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times.  Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later.  It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared.  When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails.  When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way.  I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat.  You probably could name more.

Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later.  They are out of control but it is not their fault.  For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.

Are we responsible for our feelings?  Well, “Yes,” and “No”.   We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things.   We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.

How do we resist all that conditioning?  It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it.   It is often difficult to undo.   How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors.  Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?

What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations.  Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?

 

Why do we hurt each other instead of those who hurt us?

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

Just thinking…That can get you in trouble around here.  (Want to get this up in rough draft form before the internet gets too busy discussing this issue.)  How many people in Ferguson, Los Angles, and Chicago etc. are hurting fellow African Americans?  Looting each others’ businesses, destroying each others property, and making it impossible for fellow African American’s who have done no wrong to live peaceful law abiding lives.  Why are we hurting each other instead of arresting and prosecuting the law breakers who promote lawlessness in their own or others’ communities?  How come has it become impossible  for fellow African Americans and also the Caucasian  and Hispanic residents of these riot torn communities to live peaceful lives and carry out normal business and to be able to safely travel in these communities?

I was a student in Madison WI at the University of Wisconsin during the Vietnam war riots after the math research building was blown up by protestors and one graduate student killed (murdered?) in the blast who was peacefully studying in the building.  It was amazing that no others were killed or hurt in the blast because there was damage around the bomb site for blocks.  The most noticeable damage were the shattered windows in my own psychology building blocks away and in the University Hospital complex where people came from all over to receive state of the art medical care.

I (silly me!) tried to carry on normal business going to class and carrying on my research.  Certain times of day it was not safe to be on campus.  My stomach was tied in knots.  Certain students and professors made it clear that they enjoyed not participating in normal campus business like teaching, attending classes, etc. and rioting instead.  For them, it was a big party.  I remember barrels of trash set on fire in the intersections at night and young national guardsmen so scared that they shook when they gave you orders.  Don’t worry I knew that they didn’t know if I was friend or foe.

To them I was just another student and potential rioter or bomb thrower.   What had I done to deserve this.  Nothing.  I was just an innocent bystander.  What about the law abiding people of Ferguson who are losing their businesses and directing from that their jobs and sources of income.  Why can they no longer go peacefully about their business?

Also I have a husband who was directly involved in quelling the rots in Joliet IL at that time because he was in the national guard.  He won’t talk about it.  Talk about post-traumatic stress here in our own country.

I feel there is a strong politically correct movement that is preventing us from caring about each other and teaching any kind of morality.  Why is this movement hurting innocent bystanders and keeping the rioting in some cases from their own doorsteps?

Just thinking….  Government is supposed to help people  not hurt them.  That is why we have it.  There are small local movements for paying it forward and helping each other with nothing expected in return.  Where is our voice in government and in local problems?  Why are we the ones who ultimately get hurt by this?

This may get me in trouble!  What about the coming of the Antichrist?  Why have we not heard this speculated about in the media in these times?

P.S.   I can’t get any related articles from the web about the Antichrist?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids And Monsters Under The Bed

rp_3363953427_ba6fe42f32_m.jpgMost 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.

rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpgNo 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 itembarassingquestions 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.

rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpgOn 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 rp_300px-Mary_Cassatt_Young_Mother_Sewing.jpgknow 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.

Ruminating? Is It Useful?

rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpgHave a problem you can’t solve?  Has somebody hurt you?  Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends?  Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings.  Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?

A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women.  Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.

Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating.  Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with.  It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.

Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone.  In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.

There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.

Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think.  Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while.  Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it.  It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.

 

Past, Present and Future Which Is More Important To You?

Past, present, and future which is more important to you?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  You can’t change the past; you can just reinforce the effect that it has on you in the present and thus on the future.  Have you ever thought I can never live that down?  Do you realize that the person who hurt you has long forgotten about what they did and maybe even didn’t know or care at the time if your feelings were hurt?  The longer some people live, the more they have to regret.  Soon your memory is clogged with memories of the past leaving no room for the present or the future.  How many stories have you had repeatedly told to you by someone about their unhappy or unfortunate past?

Things of the present in front of the people o...

Things of the present in front of the people of the future (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or of the past, present, and future, is the future more important to you?  You may feel you have to be prepared for what misfortune the future might bring.  Worry can eat at your guts and tear at your insides and because of this are you really any more prepared when and if disaster does strike?  Yes, it might be silly or stupid to not plan at all for the future; but anxiety often does not help you to be anymore prepared for it.  In fact, anxiety can cause you to procrastinate in doing so and to wind up even more unprepared than you would have been.

Perhaps disaster does strike in the present moment.  Would you have paid an even bigger price if you had lived your life up to that point filled with dread for what might happen?  How many horrible things were created and experienced by your fertile mind when you could have been possiblely concentrating on the unspoiled peace and tranquility of the present moment?  In fact some people feel that the contents of your present thoughts have a lot to do with what will happen in the future, not only in a negative way, but also in a positive way.

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Recreating Your World, An End to Negativity

alwaysrememberfocusDo you know how much time we waste dreaming up worst case scenarios that fuel our negativity?  I do.  I have a family member who does that and on top of it he/she still practices the false belief syndrome of adolescence (that he/she always will get a raw deal in life) even though he/she is past thirty years old.  What you see is what you get.  Have you ever stopped yourself from doing this?  Have you ever thought for a moment and pictured a different scenario, one with a happy ending.  How does the scenario in your head affect your behavior, do you think it might mess you up, make you more anxious or less anxious?  Your view of whether you can succeed or not may control the amount of effort you put into something because you are thinking,”I won’t get it anyway?”  Do you prepare less?  Are you more careless with your responses?

Do we ever spend more time thinking or talking about how we would like something to be than about how we are afraid things might turn out creating more negativity?  Occasionally we might play the game of spending a million dollars in our heads.  Yes, we can have fun with that; but take it further.  If something is broken imagine it fixed or even replaced or even better yet replaced by something even better.

develop-realistic-expectationWe are forever putting what we call realistic limits on our imaginations.  We think this is not creating negativity, this is thinking realistically.  Did you ever do this as a child?  No, the more fantastic the better.  Didn’t you once think (like I did) that there were things in the White House that were so advanced and fabulous that even the rich and famous did not have them yet.  I figured the president could have anything he or she wanted and he or she would be the first one to get one when a prototype was made.

Have you ever in a prayer asked God for something or for something even better (letting God, not you, put limits on what you have asked for)?  There we are back in the cycle of negativity.  I have personally experienced remodeling and adding on to a house and then picking out the perfect floor plan and specifics for the purchase of  a double-wide.  In the first case, I drew a lot of plans.  One of which eventually became the basis for a new addition.  In the other case, I collected a lot of brochures and looked at a lot of double-wides by different manufacturers.  When I started doing both of these things, there had been no plans made to do either.  Initially I was just “wishbooking” (a term for what people used to do when they first got their Sears-Roebuck catalogs).

miracle-1In this economy, it sometimes seems hopeless to wish for the best possible thing to happen and then waste your time planning for it.  It is easy to create negativity. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find,” says the Bible.  If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when you get it?  Women, would you let someone else plan your wedding without any of your recommendations and also not be able to make any of the decisions?  Men, would you want to go on a hunting or fishing trip or a photographic safari without any control over where you will be going and what you will be doing?

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