Sunday, April 3, 2011

PTSD, Change Context, Not Content

In my unprofessional (not so humble opinion), fixing PTSD is not the same thing as "treating it"

I suspect more than a few doctors would take issue with that statement.

What happened to you isn't the same thing as how you allow that traumatic thing that happened to you in the past affects your here and now.

What makes me an authority on PTSD?
it takes one to know one, I am a dissociated sexual abuse survivor, don't remember much of anything between my 5th birthday and my 10th birthay (and I'm not the first little boy my grandfather was caught with)

Attempting to change the content is futile

You can't "take back" what happened to you, be it childhood sex abuse or trauma from being in battle.

that's content

what you can do is change the context

Rearranging the content is akin to rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic

the ship is sinking and that water is cold.

Changing context is changing what you BE, not what you Do

listen to John Bradshaw!
more coming

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stages of Porn Addiction

Many people view porn addiction in terms of black and white. You either have it or you don't.

This approach, however, is not very practical. It forces most of the people to react by denying any form of porn addiction, until they are presented with undeniable facts, such as getting into legal trouble, or getting caught by their spouse or children.

In his book "Treating Pornography Addiction" Dr. Kevin B. Skinner suggests viewing addiction not in terms of black and white, but rather in terms of stages.

Stage 1. Mild exposure – once or twice a year, no affect on regular life.

Stage 2. Pornography use does not indicate addiction – occasional looking at pornography with increased interest.

Stage 3. Signs of trouble – person looks about once a month, usually tries to avoid, but occasionally urge get so strong that cannot be controlled, and person gives in.

Stage 4. Individual notices increased sexual fantasies, and attempts to control them, which results in stronger withdrawal symptoms.

Stage 5. Pornography impacting day to day living with significant portion of the day spend thinking about pornography.

Stage 6. Pornography dominates most of the day to day lives, affecting work, school, and personal relationships.

Stage 7. Pornography and acting out consumes most of individuals time, leaving him feeling completely out of control.

This "staged" definition of porn addiction is very practical, and it allows individuals to recognize the signs of trouble and begin seeking help prior to arriving to stage 7.

Similar approach could be used with almost all pleasurable behaviors such as drinking coffee, eating, and watching TV, and I believe it provides a simple, but effective definition of addiction.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Incest Often Leads To Sex Addiction

Sex Addiction

The most misunderstood addiction, some call it a compulsion, it covers a wide range of behaviors. To some the phrase conjures up images of fetishes, S & M, deviant sex predilections. To others it seems like a non problem. A hormone driven teen is likely to ask "what's wrong with that".

An addiction is defined as:

"Any behavior that has negative consequences, that you're aware of, and you keep doing it"

Masturbating is often sex addiction, there is a healthy masturbation and an obsessive masturbation. If you make yourself late for work because you feel an overwhelming need to relieve your sexual pressure, that's a sure sign of something out of control.

Sex Addiction Sobriety is a lot like Food Addiction Sobriety.

You'd have to be a Victorian prude or an evangelical bible thumper to consider total abstinence is the definition of sex addiction sobriety. I liken it to food addiction:

What are you gonna do, quit eating?

more coming

Monday, April 13, 2009

Refuse to be Ashamed

You're ashamed? You think I care?

It didn't happen to you:

I owe an old friend... an apology and a debt of gratitude.

I have a friend, she is a little younger than I, she played a pivotal role in my life and it seems a much deeper significant role in my families life, 22 years later.

Before I had my flashbacks (I'm a dissociated incest survivor with 5 years missing, my chronological childhood memories begin at age 10) I was an emotional mess.

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I had made a family with another sex abuse survivor, neither of us were aware that we were incest survivors, both of us were codependent and unaware of that.

This was before the term codependent was a widely used, the mid eighties. I was a love addict, with irrational jealousy issues and partnered with a woman who was incapable of being monogamous... I set my self up as a martyr, and a victim, and was reliving my parent's failed marriage with me playing the role of "this time Dad is gonna get it right and Mom isn't going to leave".

Well, predictably (Unconsciously a codependent CHOOSES a partner that is going to play this role, without consciously knowing that we're doing this) she kept disappointing me. Unbeknowngst to me, she was doing the opposite of disappointing me, but this is the role a coda plays.

I raged, what I did was exactly what my Dad did when I was 10... I raged, was a ragaholic, verbally abusive to both the mother of my kids and my kids... My friend observed this and she was a trusted ally, an intellectual equal of mine, and I greatly valued her input.

All she did was ask me (and ask in a way that I couldn't simply ignore)
"What is wrong?"

I knew that I didn't have an answer.

Just the realization of that simple fact showed me that there was more going on with me internally than I was willing to be aware of.

stuff you know but you don't wanna know that you know

She kept me from depression, a depression severe enough that I considered ending my life. I KNEW *something* was wrong... 

It is extremley confusing to be able to do complex equations, understand quantum physics, be able to recall intricate details of pre Christian History... and not be capable of walking and chewing bubblegum at the same time

I did not understand how or why I could be so capable in some areas and so inept in others, how could I have insight in some areas and did stupid stuff that I should have known better. It seemed I had conveniently obscured appropriate behavior... very similar to the movie "Drop Dead Fred".

Well I lost track of this valued and trusted friend, she never knew just how much she did for me... I found her on Facebook, after 20 odd years.

So what did I do?

I wanted to... wanted to tell her how much she meant to me, tell how what fantastic things God had done in answering my prayers, prayers that she had a very pivotal part in.

I also wanted to illustrate to her that I chose to do what Oprah and John Bradshaw did. They very publicly speak candidly about the sex abuse, other people get embarrased... to hell with that, we refuse to be ashamed of what we had no control over.

Why do this?

Oprah Winfrey single handedly drug this culture, kicking and screaming out of the darkness of shame and quite forcibly MADE the country own up to the fact that shame was what was perpetuating sex abuse- 'don't talk about it', 'sweep it under the rug'... My entire family knew about Queer Uncle Purse and they knew my Grandfather had been caught with a little boy before... it was 'unthinkable' too heinous to admit. Shame, what the F*** are YOU ashamed of, it didn't happen to you damnit!

You and your 'shame' is keeping this from being fixed, that was the world BEFORE Oprah.

There is shame... and there is

Toxic Shame
Most codependents confuse guilt with shame... they are not synonyms 

Guilt is you've made a mistake
Shame is you ARE a mistake

Fast-forward to my friend and my meeting up with her on Facebook.

I'm better, but not out of the woods... translation? I still do codependent thinking, a lot, LOT better than 'before' but I still have the capacity to be 'self centered'.

Just because I use Facebook to proselytize, does not give me the right to be obnoxious.

What gives me the right to write on someone's Facebook wall what I think the world should see? That kind of stuff is what these blogs are for.. it's not like I don't get the word out very, very effectively, I mean I've had the #1 spot in Google for 6 consecutive years (keyword: Victim Behavior) I have thousands of avid readers...

So I owe someone very dear to me an apology.

This post is my attempt at said apology.

That's all I have for this morning

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Self Absorbed - Self Imposed Prison

My son in law was in traction for 90 days when he was a teenager.
He was immobilized, he broke his back in a surfing accident. His recovery period had the net effect of taking out of circulation for a year, I shared with him that I know what it's like to be 'out of circulation' but for a whole lot longer period of time.

We were talking, talking as a family(which is unusual for me). The topic was the TV show "House", it seems I'm very much like the character portrayed. I'm also a bit like "Monk".

I'm also just a bit similar to "Rain Man". Highly functioning geek, athlete that's a bit hard to take sometimes. I'm too familiar with seclusion. So familiar with it if I was sentenced to solitary confinement as long as I had access to a library and the Internet I'd probably like it. 

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PTSD= Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As a PTSD survivor (in incest anonymous groups they suggest we identify ourselves as survivors, not victims)I can attest to how severe your perception of reality is altered. I was dissociated, there are other kinds of PTSD that are not dissociated. I can only speak with authority on MY particular flavor of PTSD experience.

Dissociated is a neutral term. It would be both accurate and mis leading to describe dissociation as a "double edged sword". Dissociated can have both negative and positive connotations:

Positive Dissociation: as an N.L.P. Technique. Neuro Linguistic Programming, the spinal column of Tony Robbins work. NLP is as multi faceted as PTSD is. One could describe NLP as a form of hypnosis, which is really doing NLP a disservice.

NLP is the structure of subjective behavior. One technique a trauma victim can use is to relive an experience and 'encase the experience' in a setting where the fear/ trauma is one step removed and not as threatening (the purpose being to see the experience in a larger picture so more options are available to the trauma exposed person- I resist the moniker of "victim" and you'll see why later).

The positive dissociation technique in a nutshell: Relive a negative experience, one that you associate shame with. Turn that reliving into a "movie", an internal movie.

  1. Turn it into 3 acts

  2. Run the movie at normal speed

  3. Now run it backwards

  4. Run it again forward but speed it up

  5. Run backwards again at normal speed

  6. Now run the middle act first

  7. Run the beginning act

  8. Then Run the ending act

  9. Now run the whole movie forward again at normal speed

By the time you do all of this the original experience has little or no power over you.



your neurons have been scrambled and can no longer elicit pain/ fear/ anxiety

it's a simple as that.

The Past Does Not Equal the Future

OK, now the negative description of dissociation:

My earliest memory is of JFK's assasination, I can remember the flag drapped wagon slowly going down Pennsylvania Ave in Black and White TV. I can recall "The Monkey Patrol" toy advertised during the 1963 Christmas season. I can recall watching my first movie "Zulu" also in black and white TV.

Next memory is of Martin Luther King's assasination. Fast Forward 5 years. As if I was abducted by space aliens or something. I told my son in law it was like waking up from a coma, because it was. I went to school, I was passed from grade to grade, I ate, went to the bathroom, got colds, went to the doctor was a little automaton and there was no one home. Something must have happened, I must have participated somewhat because I learned to tie my shoes and read and write...

I lived in my own hermit like seclusion for so long I'm comfortable with it. I do not want to characterize it as "liking it", it's not like I gravitate towards it, I'm just "comfortable with" being solo.

What did I do after I "came out of it"?

I read encyclopedias like they were dime novels, cover to cover. I can read 2000 words per minute (Eveyln Wood 1973), I can remember everything I read, total recall, I'm highly functional, my string of intellectual accomplishments are too long to list... and I'd give it all back just to be NORMAL

You could put me in solitary confinement and it wouldn't bother me a bit. I'd come out the Buddha from meditating.

More coming, I've got to pay the bills with my Search Engine Marketing Entrepreneur Gig

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Self Love

The greatest fear that any human being can have is not to
be loved. We can deal with adversity, poverty, trials, even
torture. But human beings wilt without love. They shrivel
up and die from within. What stands in the way of this
absolute essential for life? 

It is the fear that if you really knew who I am you would not love me.

If you just stumbled upon this blog and like it you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed and/or Subscribe to Recovery from Incest Post Traumatic Stress Disorder via email

If you knew all my dark secrets and shameful past.

If you knew the scope of my self-righteousness and prejudice.

If you knew what I know about how far I am from the call of my Lord. Then
something terrible would happen to me. You would recoil in
horror and push me away. You would say, "How can I love
someone like you?"

The fear of condemnation hangs over each of us. Not because
we want it to. We want to be free of the torment of secret
rejection. But we know ourselves so well. We know each and
every time we have failed to hold up His banner. Each time
we have slipped off the path of obedience. And if you knew
what I know, you would be ashamed of me just like I am
ashamed of me. Romans chapter 7 is a very difficult chapter
for any serious believer. It comes to climax with that
awful cry, "Who will set me free from the body of this
death?" No power on earth can undo my shame. Without a
cosmic intervention, I am frozen in failure, ridiculed by

But Paul shouts victory. "There is no condemnation. " The
Greek is katakrima. Literally, there is no convicting
decision against me. There is no judgment leveled against
my life. All that I tried to achieve by forcing myself to
obey, even after I was rescued from the consequences of
sin, is entirely useless as proof of my worthiness. God
does not measure me by my best hopeful standard. I could
not justify myself by my own efforts and I cannot sanctify
myself by my own efforts.

What would it mean to you to know that God sets aside the
judgment accumulated by all of those dark secrets and
shameful thoughts and deeds? How would you feel to know
that even your worst failings, right now, do not change His
love for you? Are you free enough to give Him your sins as
a token of thanksgiving? Are you able to let Him love the
"you" that nobody knows?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dissociation Defined

I'm not a doctor, I'm not an L.C.S.W.

What I am qualified to talk about is what being a sexual abuse survivor means to me.

On that I'm supremely qualified
If you just stumbled upon this blog and like it you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed and/or Subscribe to Recovery from Incest Post Traumatic Stress Disorder via email

I'm old enough to remember JFK's assassination. I was 5 years old (to the minute if you can believe that). I remember the TV being in black and white. I remember the Monkey Patrol, I remember 'The Man from Uncle' with Illia Kuriakan ??

I remember having the crap scared out of me watching 'The OUTER LIMITS'

I remember the very first movie I saw: Zulu with that english actor that I'll look up after I finish writing this...


my next memory (my next linear memory, that is a memory that has a chronological time line, as opposed to a mixed jumble of impressions that are not associated with a time line) is... Martin Luther King's assasination.

So that's a jump from 1963 to 1968

I do NOT remember:
  • What I got for Christmas

  • Who my teachers were

  • Where we lived

  • I don't remember my having brothers

  • They kinda just showed up, and they were 5 years old???
    confusing to say the least.

    What happened?

    I DO have little scraps of memories.

    What ever it was it was so bad I "checked out"

    I remember having to go through 'electric shock therapy' at what was then Cafritz Hospital.

    No recollection of what led up to that, but it probably happened because I had convulsions?

    So.. what ever it was I was so horrible that I left my body.

    I swear to God it's as if I was abducted by space aliens for those 5 years.

    More coming... I gotta change my grand daughters diaper