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I am supposed to have reached my golden years but I am still very productive and like to appear to be, to act like, and to speak like I am much younger. I am currently inspired by books by Carol Tuttle and Doreen Virtue, watching some of my ten grandchildren, and picking up after my spouse. I would love to be on a cruise ship lecturing and signing my latest book and I wouldn't mind taking a couple of friends with me who have never been on a cruise. Actually I am a semi-retired clinical psychologist with an interest in child psychology and of course, writing. I also have also been a psychology teacher and a prison psychologist. I also have an interest in art and in expressing my feelings through it.

Reminets of Sexual Abuse

She appears SCARED!

Purusing my Courage To Heal Workbook, I came up with the following ideas based on my responses to the questions. I didn’t realize how scared I was about sharing my abuse history with others who weren’t professionals. I realized I was both sexually abused and physically abused by being made frightened of my daddy’s temper. At a workshop, I remembered the phrase, “Don’t hit him’ hit me. I didn’t realize until then that my dad’s violent temper scared me for the safety of my brothers.  Dad, I guess, didn’t beat on me but he scared me for my brothers’ safety. I realized how my Dad’s temper was when I watched my older brother get mad mistakenly at my son when he thought he was his son misbehaving. Both boys were the same age. Like father like son.

I was afraid to share the history of my sexual abuse because I thought I wouldn’t be believed or the person I told it to wouldn’t believe me and just thought I was trying to get attention. My sexual abuse left me with sexual problems. Difficulty getting aroused, and a preference for masturbation as a channel for getting sexual relief. I still don’t know why I used the method and the fantasies I used. I know I would be terribly embarrassed to tell this to anyone. I knew they wouldn’t understand why I did what I did to get aroused  No, I am not ready to release my secret.

My abuse also led me to read about sexual abuse to attend workshops about sexual abuse, to see hypnotists and other persons who could get persons to remember past life abuses.  Attending these types of workshops did reveal some types of sexual abuse that I suffered.  I was sexually abused by a therapist that I saw when I went back to see him after therapy to tell him how I was doing.  My family doctor that my family had when I was a kid also abused me.  I also discovered that I may have abused a child when I was a child. If you believe in past lives, I discovered my father in one life pushed me off a cliff as a sacrifice.

I read the book listed above to help me heal from participating in these things and to take part in various exercises to do this.  I did a lot of writing in the workbook ( often enough to fill the margins).  It roused feelings in me that I didn’t know I had.  (I am not much of a feeling person.)  I also learned that I did not like to share these feelings unless I was in a group organized to share such feelings or with a therapist.  I revealed feelings that t I didn’t know I had.  I was sowing thoughts and ideas on what I thought was barren ground.

All thoughts and feelings are acceptable unless acted out without exercising judgment in some cases.  Writing such things on paper is usually acceptable especially if a person is cautious about who they show them to.  This is why writing in the workbook was so valuable.  I could write what I thought and not work about what someone else would think about it.  I could be crazy.  I could express hated and a desire to kill or injury some person without repercussions. Questions asked in various chapters inspired me to write things that I had never thought of before.

The author Laueir Davis also wrote a book The Courage To Heal that I recommended you read first.

 

Facial Expressions Mean Something Unless They Are Covered Up

A recent doctor’s or rather Nurse Practitioner’s visit did not go as well as have been expected because the nurse practitioner wore a face mask and a plastic shield over the top of it. It was difficult to impossible to tell what emphasis she put on things that she said. The last thing she said was the emergency room. Was it that I should have gone there instead of making a second convenient care visit or that I should go there next time instead of coming there. This became more confusing when I woke up in the night after going to convenient care the second time with coughing,, upper chest pain (new to me), and I couldn’t stop coughing.. I feel that her emphasis could have been clearer without all that stuff covering her face. It made the medical visit seem more generic than personal.

What does these type of coverings in the schoolroom do to confuse the student’s understanding of what the teacher is trying to say and on the school does a child really mean to stop another child from doing something or are they just telling the other child to not be so strong. Could a child just be joking? or could a child really mean what they are trying to say? Social mores are things that children learn in school and masks get in the way of this. Teasing when misunderstood can cause trouble. If you don’t understand what the other person or child is trying to imply you can at the very least get confused or at the worst get into a fight.

Current regulations about wearing masks in school do not seem to take this into account. A teacher can raise an eyebrow, twinkle an eye, grit her teeth, and might not be seen. The same can be true of children in the classroom. Smiles can be lost. Words can be misunderstood when muffled by the masks. Zoom classes can make three-dimensional things one-dimensional. Instead of child psychologists, well-experienced teachers’ decisions about mask-wearing or made by school boards, governors, some doctors, usually people with no regular classroom experience.

Governments are set up to have local decisions made by local people.  Even voting requirements are set up to be made by the state, not federal governments.  We have teachers’ unions from the top down doing this.  Where are the children in this equation?  Aren’t the children’s requirements the most important part of the equation?  Where is the children’s union?  What pull do children have in this equation?  They are not learning social skills.  Teachers are not conveying the total meaning of what they are saying.  A wink of an eye can convey to a student not to take a teacher seriously especially if accompanied by a change in the tone of voice.  What do masks and face shields do when covering a teacher’s face or a child’s face.  It can be very confusing.

Then there are the doctor’s contributions to this controversy.  What experience and education do the doctors have in this particular area.  Opinions can just be opinions with little or no facts or logical conclusions to back them up.  Doctors should be cautious in making these opinions.  Pediatricians may have more to weigh in on these problems than general doctors.  Those with research backgrounds should have covered research in this particular area/  Psychologists, school psychologists should have been researchers in this area and should be well acquainted with the research in this area.  Clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists all may have knowledge in this area.  Parents actually may know about what has affected their child’s behavior and performance in school after masking.

Decisions such as these about masking must be made very carefully because any mistakes that are made can have long-term consequences for social development and learning.

Blaming Your Shopping Addiction On Anyone But Yourself Is Not Cool

It is difficult to almost impossible to blame your shopping addiction on anyone but yourself and cure it.   The blame and shame that goes with admitting you have a shopping addiction are difficult to deal with. This is especially true if you have a long history of doing this. It is no longer a mistake when you have run-up credit card debt and have acquired clothes and jewelry that you have no place for, or, worse yet, have not ever worn. This can lead (even worse yet) to hoarding and having stuff piled on top of stuff. You can see how this can go on. Worst yet you begin to realize the things that you could have had like trips, education, or different vehicles if you had not spent your money on this stuff.

Once you realize this you can become shameful and you can’t admit the truth to anybody. This attitude makes a twelve-step group difficult to go to as there are several steps that involving opening up to others and not holding stuff in. Your reaction to these steps can be either shame or its opposite anger. Another problem with a shopping addiction is pride. Opening up can lead to blaming others instead of yourself. Or if you have piled up debt so deep that you feel horrible about all the money you wasted. and thus about yourself.

Having a sponsor in a twelve-step group can be very helpful with opening up as they have gone through the same thing and its negative emotions. It is easier to share your losses with someone who can be sympathetic and not shame you.  Revealing that you have backslid and have done the same thing as well as indebting yourself over and over is easier to do with someone who has done this too.  Family members and friends may find it difficult to listen to you because it is difficult for them to you without shaming you and blaming you for doing such things over and over.

Hearing other’s stories can reveal that it is possible to go through running up debt and then trying to pay it off and then running up more debt with flimsy excuses like it was on sale or I had to go on that trip.  Also, there are some success stories that don’t involve following in the debt trap again involving paying off debt, not impulse buying, and paying off extensive debt over time.  There also are pressure relief groups in Debtors Anonymous to help deal with immediate pressing problems like bounced checks that might lead to jail time.

And last, of all like all twelve-step groups, there is a reliance on a higher power to get the strength to open up and make changes.  The higher power does not have to be God, it can be something else but it helps participants to get the strength to make changes.  Most participants know that relying only on themselves doesn’t work.

To learn about twelve-step programs for debtors look up Debtors Anonymous.  Some areas do not have local groups but do offer meetings by phone.  There are also books like Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions available that explain how the program works.

 

Some Symptoms And Causes Of Shopping Addiction (Onionmania)

She appears SCARED!

Recently I came across a paperback book called Shopping Addiction by Caesar Lincoln. It had some good points to make about shopping addictions. If you think you have a shopping addiction or know someone who has a shopping addiction, these points might interest you.

People with a shopping addiction can not control how they spend their money for various reasons. One reason is to get a thrill out of spending money. This is often connected with wanting others to notice how much money the thrill-seeker can spend often on an object or activity.  Sometimes the compulsive shopper just picks up the random item to get the thrill of buying something.  When presented with the situation in which the compulsive shopper can spend money, they have a hard time controlling themselves. This is all without regard to how much money they are spending even if it means breaking the budget (actually most compulsive shoppers do not have a budget or somebody else controls the budget.).

Some compulsive shoppers have the urge to buy (sometimes high-priced items) for their collections. They are particularly hyped-up if they have found a rare, but often expensive, item to add to their collection. I did this with my ex-husband. We collected colored antique pressed glass. I still have items in boxes instead of on display as I have run out of room. (In my second marriage I can only think of two things I have bought for my collection. )  Instead, I channeled my collecting to second-hand stores and resale shops.

Compulsive shopping can be caused when a compulsive shopper has been brought up in a family situation where the money for the items deemed as unnecessary is low. Basic bills for existence are often met but the frills are few and far between. That somewhat fits me for my growing up. We then had a budget with little room for excessive spending on things than I could like boughten clothes versus homemade ones. I dreamed that one day that I could buy those things at full price (No waiting for sales). I have more bought things than I could reasonably use like clothes on sale so now I have more clothes than I can fit in my dressers. I have plastic totes full. It would have been more practical to be able to try on clothes to see if they flattered me or fit me but most of them I ordered online and didn’t want to bother to return them. I have trouble too getting rid of clothes even if they don’t suit me or fit me.  I would have been better trying on clothes and making outfits.

Shopping addicts can even buy and save bargain items for household use. Again how many paper towels can a household reasonably use in six months to a year. Here are the reasons for shopping addiction that I found in this book in my own words.  Yes, a shopping addiction can result in clutter, even in hoarding.  Shopping addicts seem to try to buy admiration of others by buying status objects for themselves or by spending money on others they can’t afford or they give away items that are hard even expensive to replace.  Shopping addiction can put pressure on a relationship. What is interesting as an example I can give an example of a marriage where a couple in their previous marriages had the opposite roles of spending and budgeteer and then when they remarried they traded places.  Money appeared to be a thing over which they fought for control.  It seemed to be funny that this happened in their second marriage.

There are twelve-step groups for compulsive spenders, but they are mostly in metropolitan areas.   You could look it up on the Internet for Debitors Anonymous.

Take Good Care Of Yourself You Belong To You Yourself

Who are you taking care of? Your husband or wife, your children, your pets, the people you work with or for? Often we forget about taking good care of ourselves. Doing this makes feelings of resentment decrease or even disappear. It gives you strength not only to take care of yourself but then you can take care of others if you want to do so.

Bubble Baths, a hot shower, a nap, practicing relaxation techniques, reading a book or watching a film or your favorite channel  Go hunting, play with your pets, take care of your body by brushing to whitening your teeth,  Chating on the phone with a good friend or going out to lunch with him or her.  Explore new hobbies, turning a hobby into a business (whoops this might create tension instead of lowering it.

Sometimes we do not know ourselves very well and we might get into therapy. try out different hobbies, join new groups and make new friends.  Just remember if doing this makes you tenser, you might back off from the new activity a little or even stop it.    If you were telling a friend to take good care of themselves maybe you can learn from this what if anything you learn from helping your friend get to know themselves might help you get to know yourself.

The Origination Of Hallucinations In Bipolar Disorder

 

She appears SCARED!

As a bipolar person when I perceive people as doing astonishing things then I stop for a moment and withhold my reactions as I don’t want to embarrass myself.  My daughter was laying down the law to me and all of a sudden she stood up and lambasted me for being poor at handling my money.  I stopped thinking for a moment and realized this was imaginary and my daughter wouldn’t know what I was talking about if I reacted to it.  Also as much as I love being told by some person that they love me this is often a verbal hallucination and it would be embarrassing for me to say I love you back unless this was a family member or good friend.  These are just tricks that my mind plays on me usually at the end of a telephone call.

 

I have had hallucinations as a kid and this may be why I am afraid of the dark.  I was having an asthma attack and saw orange and green bugs and snakes all around me even with the lights on.  I was on codeine cough syrup as I was having an asthma attack so when I told her, my mom thought it was the codeine cough syrup causing these visions.  I became very afraid of the dark I slept with a light on after that and later slept with my head under a pillow.  Curiously enough often when I was sleeping with someone next to me or in a bed in the same room, I was not afraid.

 

As an adult, I began to think that I was afraid of the dark because I was molested at night by my Dad as a child.  Also, I masturbated very early on by using running water in the bathtub.  By the way, my two brothers did not want to talk with me about this or what had happened with them and our dad.  Curiously enough when I attended a cathartic workshop. the words, “Don’t hit him hit me came into my head”.  My dad had a very intense temper and I think my brothers were afraid of him.  My oldest brother inherited his temper.  With this going on in our household there could have been fodder for hallucinations.

 

“Depression..

Who knows what I saw in the dark as a child.  Could I have been hallucinating then?  Could I have been hallucinating about my after?  Also, things at night do not look like they do in the daytime.  It could be that I saw things.  A crumpled pillow or a blanket or a towel could look like a monster and with the ability to hallucinate I could have more easily seen these things like hallucinations and of course, my parents would not have seen them.

 

Recently I was made aware that with a bipolar diagnosis, I could hallucinate.  I also in the recent past before my bipolar diagnosis had brief hallucinations of people in a circular shape such as my husband and strangers  My husband was wearing the wrong color shirt in the hallucination.  They were off to one side and did not last very long, just long enough that I could notice them and figure out what they were.   Once over ten years ago I saw a candy striper with a tray of cinnamon rolls.  I knew it was not real as no candy stripers worked in the hospital and she also disappeared quickly

 

Knowing that I can hallucinate helps me to  “spot” them and react appropriately.  I can not predict when they will happen.  I just have to realize that they can happen and not react too quickly.  Other people often do not believe in them and would think I am “crazy” if they found out about them.  I would rather share these experiences with someone who understands that hallucinations are just a part of bipolar disorder and can be controlled at least by me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Nuts Are You About Your Pets And Why

Pets are friends are friends.  Pets can be very loyal and if they are not they are just straight badasses.    They are not very sneaky except when it comes to food and toys and sleeping on your bed.  Our dog likes the carpet in my bedroom as it is quite plush and she leaves black fur all over it.  Also when it rains and dogs are afraid of storms.   It seems they can sense them from far away.  Cats can be badasses if you let them get away with stuff that they too like to do.  For example, go outside and scratch on the upholstered sofa and chairs.  Squirts of water from an old Windex bottle work to stop them from doing these things.  Some people think it is cruel to do this but if you practice this long enough, the sight of the empty Windex bottle is enough to stop them from doing these things.

Now for the positive side of having pets or from pets having you as their person or purrson when you talk about cats.  I do not like people who are cruel to their pets or star dogs and cats.  They even use them for target practice.  They’re are good at abandoning puppies or kittens even when they should have neutered their dog or cat in the first place.  It takes some responsibility to have a dog orr cat.  Hey guys, even hunting dogs deserve respect.

Now when compared to a human friend, pets never tell secrets, pets can cuddle you when you are upset.  You don’t have to sleep alone when you have a pet.  Curl up with your pet and you might have hours of one-sided conversation.  You can tell secrets to your pet and they won’t tattle.  Pets can play tricks on you usually with no harm intended.  Computers to cats are like heating pads.  Cats like to seek warm places.  They are very funny when it seems like they will pick the smallest box to curl up in not the one that is the right size.  Both dogs and cats think your clothes, your bedding, and your throws since they smell of you are good places to lay down.

Crying does not scare off and animals are often the type of friend who will not reject you or criticize you if you have problems that they don’t understand. Just the sight or the sound of a beloved animal friend is enough to help you calm down.  Some people who are cruel and wicked and mean will take out their anger and feelings of resentment on their animals.  The first societies to deal with abuse were founded for animals that have been abused not humans such as spouses and children.  One way to abuse an animal is to starve, freeze or overheat an animal.  Yes, it happens to children and adults too.

In most cases when you leave a dog or cat they will love you back unless they have been abused or allowed to run wild.

I am nuts about animals.  I talk to them, I offer them treats and toys.  I miss them when I am away from them or they are away from me for practical reasons.  If I can’t see them I look for them or ask my partner if they know where they are at.  Just the sight on them reassures me.  I don’t like to be alone.  I enjoy it when the cat is just being a cat chasing a moving light or a dog is just being a dog playing catch.  I love the sight of birds around my house. Frogs don’t scare me.  Snakes do.  Please don’t throw them at me.  It will scare them too.

 

 

 

 

How To Relax Even If You Are Frustrated

Have you been encumbered with a load of frustrations? Take a deep breath and instead of sucking your stomach in as you let the air instead let your stomach stick out as you take a deep breath in through your nose and then let your breath out through pursed lips as your stomach deflates  Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest as you breathe in and out  Too often we do not make room for the air that we take in. It probably seems distastefully ugly to do it this way but it works and that’s the most important thing. When you let the air go let your stomach collapse.  This is the right way to do it.  Hold your breath for at least 30 seconds before you let your air out.

You may be too embarrassed to do it this way in front of the person or persons who have upset you or you may be too embarrassed to do this in front of any kind of audience. no matter what they have to do with upsetting you. Wait and do this as soon as you can get away from an audience.

Now you can let the air go out your nose not your mouth. This makes what you are doing a little less obvious if you might have an audience.   Deep breathing can keep you from getting extremely upset or extremely angry. Either of which might not be the smart thing to do at that time. This can give you time to think about how you should react.

For example, if you are frustrated this might give you time to solve the problem or to think about when you need to do something about it or how you can bring yourself down because there is nothing you can do momentarily.  It helps to let go of your anxiety or anger without knowing when or if you can solve the problem. For example, I had a flat tire on an extremely hot day on a country road.  Soon another disabled person stopped to see what He could do to help.  Then the Sherrif came along, changed my tire, and shadowed me as I drove to the nearest town to a garage to get the tire fixed.  It also was an extremely hot day.  I stayed calm because getting upset would not have helped.  I did breathe a sigh of relief when the sheriff said he would change my tire,  I was going to a nearby city but changed my mind when all I had to drive on was a tire with a plug.   I was extremely happy with how it turned even if I couldn’t make my trip to the city.  I realized I could do it another day.

I could have tried the breathing trick then but I didn’t know about it then..I  wasn’t that flexible then but waiting worked and not getting upset worked then as help came along quickly.  .

Too Close for Comfort

If you can’t pick your companions, workmates, or roommates you can wind up in a pickle.  Either your abilities are not recognized or are not found useful.  Too close for comfort can wind up in fights, with one person not being able to tolerate the other.  This can result in an open fighter or in misery for the one person who can’t tolerate the other or in an open fight.  Being afraid to bring up the topic of the dispute keeps the sore open to being rubbed.  How long can you tolerate something?

Can you bring up something to a person you have tolerated but not confronted.  This is often how some marriages end up.  It is how my first marriage ended up.  My guts couldn’t tolerate the situation.  Actually, we had some beneficial disagreements when we settled some things we had to settle in order to split up.  When the marriage had already in a slipt up; it was easier to bring up some things we needed to talk about and that couldn’t be avoided if we were having to deal with in order to split up our household.

We laughingly talked about the title for a movie about our split called, “You get the kleenex and I get the toilet paper”.  We made our decision based on what was the most valuable to one or the other.  Our cat was a different problem; we couldn’t decide who got him until we found a kitten underneath the car after we had gone to the movies.  PS: Going to the movies at supper time every night was one way to avoid a fight.  I found out later each of us had kept secrets from one another.

I had a college roommate once but instead of rooming with her another year I decided that I would be better off being alone (and I did get one of the few single rooms for the next semester).  I was lonely and afraid of the dark that next semester.  My ex-roommate got a roommate picked for her and they were not really comfortable with one another.  I wish now that I had not been so selfish.  Roommates can always be a big issue if you are not good at picking roommates or if you are not good at getting along with one another or if you have a roommate picked for you that no one else would like a druggie (This happened to my brother).  My sophomore year the second half I got put in with another roommate because my room was too cold and her roommate quit school.  She had her own friends and she could sleep through my typing at night on my typewriter (it was a manual).

How do the astronauts do?  Speaking of being too close for comfort.  I had a NASA fellowship one year in graduate school and that was as close to being an astronaut I become.

 

 

 

Don’t Let Someone Else’s Frustration Lead To Your Frustration Too

Frustration can be catching.  A person who is frustrated is often looking for someone else to place the blame on or they might simply want someone to commiserate with them.  However, when they do this they might be looking for someone else to agree with them and if they don’t agree, the person gets mad at them also.  Now two people are frustrated and that doesn’t solve the problem.

Blaming someone else can lead to solving the problem for some people.  Then they can walk away from the problem as they can see the other person as causing the problem even if they didn’t.  They may leave grumbling to themselves with possibly a relationship destroyed in the process.  If the other person who is involved in this upset plays their part right, they will feel guilty too.  Some people, when the encounter is over, may realize when they are some distance from the situation may they hadn’t done anything to the other person but sympathize with them.

I’ve said this before, “Don’t let some legitimate frustration lead to more frustration than was initially created”.  Giving help is a fine thing to do; but not if the person won’t legitimately consider what is offered.  Such people often are not really wanting to be calmed down and then to see what happened as not as upsetting as it once was.  You may have learned to not let one frustration lead to another but they haven’t.

I may have said this before but if someone looks like they have a storm cloud hanging over their head don’t encourage a lightning strike because it might even be directed your way.  I have learned to put my distance from that person.  Lightning can strike closer than you think even when you see the mire possibility of a lightning strike move on out.  The biggest problem like this happens when you are in line at the checkout counter and the person ahead of you (it doesn’t matter how many persons are between you and him or her) has a problem.  Any comment good or bad might be taken the wrong way.  It might take away to have the storm blow over.  If you are at the end of the line, you might be able to escape or better yet not get in this line if you see trouble coming or worse yet you see trouble occurring.

Worse yet, is if trouble is already occurring and you can’t not get involved, like when your husband or wife is getting in the car with you or you have to get in the car to get home with him or her and he or she is already mad and worse yet they take it out on you as there is no one else to attack.  Often no matter what you say it gets you into trouble or if they get in the car with you or if you are already in the car.  You’d like to take cover or run.

Maybe the best way to handle this matter is to take a time when everybody is claimed down to discuss this.
Saying something like remember when I got in the car mad about how some salesperson treated me, I took it all on you.  Wouldn’t that be if this sort of thing happens with you or me?  We agree both of us to calm down and discuss this later when we have a safe place to discuss these things.  You might bring out some of this author’s comments on this type of problem.