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anxiety

When An Immovable Object Like You Can Not Be Challenged, It Is Difficult For You Or Possibly Them To Get Upset As There Is No Emotional Payoff And You Can Keep Your Cool

People count on the fact that you can be upset, that you will buy their spiel, that you can be made to leave them alone, or anything else that they want you to do or feel. Have you ever just observed what a person looks like they are feeling, what they are trying to get across and then decided that you are not going to fall for their ploy. Can you anticipate what they are going to do from what they look like, for example, a dark rolling thunder cloud? I once saw a woman who looked like she was dressed to impress and because of this, she was wanting to make the impression that she was upper class and expected to get her way. It was clear that she was going to get angry. You know what I did I quickly pushed my cart down another aisle in the farm store where I could avoid her and not become a part of her drama which she was intending to play out and win the upset of another person, mostly a clerk, but if not a clerk than another shopper like me. Ouch. She appeared to be extremely self-righteous, stately, and ready to blow up as soon as she ran into a ready victim, someone who would easily feel to blame for her upset and grant her desire to feel self-righteous.

Surprise, surprise, I do not always have to play the victim of someone else’s desires. I can be calm, I can leave the scene, and I cannot provide such a person with their reward by being a willing victim in their desired vignette. Another scene that I can sense coming is when my spouse is ready to judge me is when I know I have done something that he could accuse me of like eating the last piece of cake, of course, the smallest piece of cake, or not knowing where the car keys are or putting them up somewhere that I am not sure where I placed them. It is easier to admit what I am guilty of by confirming that I did it in a matter of fact way. Then the desired upset is difficult for him to carry out when I admit I am guilty in a matter of fact way. Then the desired drama is difficult for him to carry out. I, at the beginning, tell him I did the thing that he is anticipating that I did wrong without getting upset, feeling guilty, or getting mad at him for finding me out.

Meditation is a habit that can reinforce one’s ability to keep their cool. As in meditation, you can relax while letting your thoughts pass by while not attending to them. Also, you can develop the habit of choosing not to feel guilty or emotionally upset by letting your thoughts plague you til you begin to suffer. Focusing on a situation often does not do any good especially when you know what you should have done or what you ought to do in the future. Manipulators are good at predicting what people will do or feel and can accomplish their own selfish ends this way. For example, they can usually count on people doing the “polite” thing.

Count on developing your blank face as one form of defense with such people. “Oh, you were speaking to me.” Is another good line and form of defense and usually catches such people off guard. People like these count on getting another person’s or at least some person’s attention or (God Forbid) everyone’s attention. Who knows what potentially they have to sound off about and why they think they can count on having a willing victim or willing victims.

Practice being calm and being like a duck who can let the water run off of his back and being undisturbed. Potentially you can put off with dealing with some things later when you have more time to think and you are not being pressured to come up with a solution. Manipulators count on you to be bumfuzzled and unable to come up with an appropriated response. My poor deceased half sister-in-law counted on this to happen when in front of a crowd of people, she asked me, “Who cut your hair?” in a very critical voice and I was able to come up with an appropriate comeback, “Who asked you?” She counted on catching me off guard and she had a reputation for doing this kind of thing and getting away with it. Fortunately, I was able to come up with immediately an appropriate comeback. She always counted on her victim to not have a chance to think of something appropriate to say. Another way to have short-circuited her would to have sought out someone appropriate in the crowd and asked them what they thought of what she said or what they thought about how I looked. As mean as my sister-in-law could be and everybody knew it, surely some most would have come up something in my defense.

You do not have to accept being manipulated by such people; you just have to plan ahead to control your feelings and not become a victim. Sometimes you just have to leave and say to yourself or them, “I don’t have time for this”. If you feel you have to have an excuse to leave, say you are busy or say you are tired and have dealt with enough that day or you might have to be rude (think about how rude they are being) and say that the person is being rude or is trying to manipulate you or that they should get the h-ll out of your face; you don’t want to tolerate any more of their sh-tt that day.”

You can do the same thing with your own inner feelings and thoughts. Say, “I don’t want to feel that way anymore,” to yourself and/or, “I don’t need to feel guilty about that as I have already done that enough” and/or say to yourself “I am sorry for what I have done and have made my own personal spiritual or practical amends.” and/or “I realize I need to do something about that but it is not now time to do it” and/or “I have thought enough about it for this day or week or whatever and it is not helping me make any progress in my life to obsess about this now.”

Realize manipulators do not do this. They get their reward and do not waste time feeling bad about what they did. Don’t think a lot about being manipulated except for long enough to realize you what was done to you and do some to limit the damage if possible and momentarily if necessary. That is something practical that any victim would do especially if there are necessarily like any tie limits to do something like stopping a check from being cashed. Choke the lesson up to experience with your mistake as being an experience.

Some people do things that indirectly that hurts and they don’t understand that they are hurting themselves and others too. Indirectly it results in the angry dissolution of the relationship with the other person being blamed and the person who is mad at them does not understand that they did something themselves to harm the relationship too. It frequently seems to involve being able to read minds. If I do something for someone else who may need my help and they don’t realize that it is ultimately an imposition on me and they ask me to do it again without them realizing that was an imposition on me and I feel that they should not have asked me to do it again but they did not know that I was thinking that.

This set of behaviors seems to involves mindreading as a sport. I’ll do something really nice for you, but I want you to understand that you should never ask me to do it again because it was an imposition on me. Complicated, isn’t it. The only counteraction would be to call the person on it who did the favor if you get a chance to talk to the person again and suggest that they should have said, “No,” the first time or said, “I can do it for you this one time; but don’t count on me to do it for you, the next time you have that problem.” However, it may lead to a whole bunch of “shoulds” like who should be doing it for you instead of them, etc., etc.

Why Does The Victim Often Have More Trouble than the Offender?

Here I am in trouble again and you may often find yourself in this type of trouble too. The offender gets out of trouble by blaming the offender. Such as they deserved it. They were so stupid that they deserved to lose to me. Why should they trust people so much? If caught often the punishment does not equal in cost, inconvenience or shame what the offense cost the victim. Often victims have to take on the role of being a damaged person whose repair is difficult, often incomplete and leaves scars.

I am a sexual abuse victim. Even the word victim is personally damaging. I didn’t ask for it but I got it anyway or will get it for sure if I tell anybody like I am doing now. I didn’t realize it until the first time I felt a sexual response while making out and it went away. I tried many ways to fix this without any luck and so I live with it. Also, it seems that once a victim, always a victim.

I had a therapist who once called me sexually attractive which made me uncomfortable at the time. At the end of therapy when I was moving out of town, he invited me to come to see him and let him know how I was doing if ever I was back in town. When I came back, I found out that he expected me to have sex with him. I remember nothing that happened after that. Boy, was I naive and I became a victim again. Now I know why I never felt I was sexually attractive because that was dangerous. It also affected my self-esteem. Now does being seen as sexually attractive mark me as someone to be exploited? It seems to be true at least in this case.

I was considered a behavior problem in grade school. Was I reacting to being sexually abused? I had almost men teachers at that time. The best year I had was with my only woman teacher! In those days, no one considered the fact that I was a problem because they didn’t know what to do with me. In fact, at graduation, I wasn’t made the valedictorian because of my behavior so I said I wasn’t going to graduation if they didn’t. We compromised, I got the award for the highest grades in the class instead. I think I was one of the first people to threaten to boycott their graduation. Also, I was told I would never make better than a “B” in high school; however, I graduated high school as the class Salutatorian. I also suspected that they suspected that I was fairly intelligent because they had someone give me a WISC (the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), but I never learned what my IQ was.

I was also bullied in high school on the bus and nobody did nothing about it. I did nothing to deserve it. In fact, I spend my time reading to the little kids on the bus. I ended up not riding the bus even though I live in the country. I also was a member of what I called the “out” group in high school. the members of which, including myself, all sat in a group in the auditorium to eat our lunches. We all were there for different reasons, the country kids (but that was not my reason to be there), the less intelligent kids, the poor kids, etc. I was there just because I didn’t make into one of the uppity groups whose members snubbed us.

In ending, I would like to say that from my point of view that I became a victim of other people’s enjoyment at my expense. Victims of crimes also seem to get not fully repaid for their losses caused by those who victimize them. Victims of break-ins often never feel comfortable in their own homes again.

What are the losses, peace of mind, monetary especially the extra cost of legal fees, medical expenses, the cost of therapy needed? Also, the inability to have normal emotional responses again, the lowered ability to trust people, tragic memories or the loss of memories of things that happened, fear of getting into certain situations again. What of these costs does the offender ever have to pay and does the suffering of being caught and having to pay for these offenses by going to prison ever catch up with them? Remediation often doesn’t really happen for some reason such as the inability to identify or catch the offender or the offense is not considered a crime.

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.