Flashbacks

Flashbacks are a part of PTSD.  They are crippling at times. Recently, someone I love rejected me.  It shouldn’t be a big deal, but for some reason I feel deeply wounded and am having flashbacks to all the rejections I’ve ever had.  My first therapist called it “emotional cut-off.”  It feels like a death when it happens, and it was a part of my life growing up.  It went hand in hand with something the same therapist called the “double bind.”  It’s a lose-lose scenario that you can’t get out of, no matter what you do.  Add sporadic bursts of violent anger directed at you with no consistency or  reason you can make sense of, and you’ve got a recipe for hyper-vigilance, fried adrenal glands, and chronic illness.  Mental illness runs in my family, and I take no pride in the fact that at times I’ve also practiced emotional cut-off.    I’m stuck there, or here – I have no doubt it’s part of the reason I don’t practice writing or meditation consistently.  I have certification to teach yoga to heart patients, but I have a lackadaisical practice there too.  You have to be able to live the practice if you’re going to teach it, in my opinion. (I think most yogis would agree)

It seems so much easier (and faster) to numb yourself with chaos, chronic disorganization, and excuses.  Over and over I listen to podcasts and read books by experts that tell you when you finally face the pain, you break through it to find yourself in a better place.  Not that the pain is gone forever, not that you’ll never be depressed or hurt again, but it will get less “sticky.”  You’ll find that you get out of it more easily, and the flashbacks stop having so much power to create negativity in your life.  You have to start though, and stick with it long enough to feel the benefits.  That’s where groups come in.  The sangha in Buddhism.  You take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.  The sangha gives you the support you need to stick with your practice.  There have been times in my life when I’ve been able to engage enough to feel more peaceful, less stuck and less anxious.  I can get there again.

May your life be filled with blessings and peace.  Namaste’.

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~ by janetlandis on January 23, 2012.

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