The Living Force
Perceval said:Laura said:Buddy, what you describe IS a situation of high trauma. Trauma doesn't have to be physical abuse.
Indeed, and the fact that you never forgot it also suggests that it was traumatic. I have always remembered a similar type of family-life dynamic. I must have been 7 or 8 and had come home from school to find a kitten in the back garden. I took it into the kitchen and gave it a saucer of milk. A couple of hours later my father came home from work (I can't remember where the kitten was at this stage) and saw the empty saucer of milk on the kitchen floor. He had apparently asked my mother about it and got the story, but decided to pull me in for some rather disingenuous questioning anyway.
So I remember standing there and him looking rather severe, pointing at the saucer and asking me "what is that doing there!?" I was already in a state of fear because of the dynamic and perhaps it was that that led me to interpret his question literally, i.e. 'what is the saucer actually doing on the floor'. Of course, the saucer was not actually 'doing' anything, so I couldn't really give an answer. My father got more angry at my apparent refusal to answer his question and repeated it, with increasing anger and vociferousness, several times more, until I, teary-eyed, blurted out "It's not doing anything, it's just sitting there!".
Yeah, I know how fear like this can make you literal-minded and increase the frustration during disingenuous questioning. For me, part of this kind of experience includes a silent cry-out that goes something like: "Why are you asking me this!!!! Why don't you just ask me what you really want to know??? What do you really want to know?????"
Perceval said:I know this sounds sort of comical, but at the time it was pretty traumatic for me and something I had, unfortunately, become accustomed to.
I've emotionally processed a few of these kinds of experiences. They are both comical and very serious. They become more comical the more pain is released so that you can eventually look at the experience again without being emotionally triggered. Thanks for sharing that with us.
webglider said:quote from Buddy:
How could I possibly have ever come to emotionally reconcile and understand what was really going on around me without "telling stories" to myself and others?
I don't think that you could have. You show a lot of empathy for your dad, his struggles and his rage at failing to meet his own expectations of himself. In a way it's harder that way because you can't really get angry at him or hate him because you see him as a flawed human being whose best is woefully inadequate.
Yep, I understand what you're saying. Fortunately I no longer hold to false notions like: "duty to...", whether it's duty to love a parent because he's a parent, or however you look at it. Truth is, I will feel like I hate him, love him, resent him, feel proud for him, and any other emotion as it comes, when it comes, without feeling guilty for how I feel but also without expressing the hurtful stuff in raw form like that. I tried that once. It was a confrontation where I dared him to hit me. He made a face-saving back-down, but it hurt me to see him even in that kind of position. Now, I'm committed to finding win-win solutions when a situation seems to ask for it.
webglider said:Perhaps you may be afraid that if you allow yourself emotional expression you could become like your dad.
Too late. :) I used to have that fear before I was faced with the fact that I was already like him in many ways. I was lucky to have realized this back in the late 90's so that I could come to terms with the truth and begin practicing some changes before I landed on here only to get bounced out. Thanks, webglider, for your input here.
Palinurus said:Buddy said:Although I disagree with HSP as "type", the description applies to me all too well. I was pleased to see the author/editor of the Wiki entry mentions high sensitivity as both 'result of trauma' and 'initial condition'. I suspect 'initial condition' applies to me since I recall always being this way. Also, high sensitivity to sensory stimulus has been linked to the "set point" of the thalamus - a condition commonly connected to AD/HD, though not necessarily limited to it.
Your initial reaction towards this info was almost an exact replica of mine, when I first encountered this typology about 10 years ago. It would be adviseable, I think, to first get acquainted a bit further with the specifics of it and then let it sink in for a while, playing a bit with these new notions as you observe yourself from this new perspective and different point of reference.
I'm sorry, but I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that I should consider that I AM a label (HSP), yet should NOT identify with a label (AD/HD)? Or do you mean I should consider that I may not have the sensitivity levels of the "HSP" and that it may be something else?
I'm OK with either possibility. I was going to finish the post that was making the case that I was suspecting, except that I got caught up in the emotional memories.
What I should have added includes the results of certain comparisons to other people's comments and observations over the years. Physiologically, my sensory experience is ordinarily kind of intense when I'm not feeling foggy-headed or very tired from the day's work. Ordinarily, colors are bright, vibrant, seemingly with a depth to them. Sounds can be very sharp, distinctly made out from other sounds occurring together and make me feel that some resonator in me is humming along with the rhythms that I'm able to perceive. Air temperature and breezes on my skin are noticed and noticed how wonderful it feels to be so compatible and in tune with Nature. Tastes and smells can feel like little explosions of sensate and flavor in the nose and mouth that sometimes give me the impression that there is way more information there than what my conscious intellect can translate and recognize.
This probably sounds all weird, so I'm just saying that I believe it's possible that all our senses, taken all together, provide all of us with way more information than we are accustomed to recognizing and using right now.
Palinurus said:It also might help you to get a bit detached from the AD/HD label which you seem to have a very strong rapport to/with. I even think to have noticed several times that you hold up that AD/HD label as a sort of shield - as a warning sign you're not to be tampered with, or for us to not tresspass any farther.
I'm a strong proponent of de-labeling and have made the case for how labels just create more boundaries around people to objectify them in an 'us vs them' kind of way. That may not always come through in my writing though, because I sometimes get tired of qualifying the comments out of fear of distracting from the point I was wanting to make. Not that the practice helped much I see.
Palinurus said:Each trauma has objective and subjective sides to it. In the example you gave, playing ones kids one against the other and embarrassing them both in passing, is a very cruel thing to do by any account, objectively speaking.
Moreover, would highly sensitive really appear to be one of your attributes, it then seems easy to comprehend that you operate from a different vulnerability threshold than a 'normal' person (statistically average) would. That is to say, you could get traumatised by situations, persons and experiences where others wouldn't flinch nor blink. This constitutes an objective difference between people and is a fact of life.
I noticed this difference as a child. In my naivete, I assumed that part of my growing up includes learning how other people developed or naturally had a "thick skin". Today, I rather like that all I need is a light touch to get any sensory message, but obviously sensitivity has its down side as we are all discovering, OSIT.
Palinurus said:Trauma arrests the flow of feelings and emotions and fixates that 'snapshot of the situation' into bodily residues (crampings, muscle tensions, postures, shallow breathing, high bloodpressure and the like). It thereby becomes a real, psychosomatically anchored burden that you carry along with you until Work is applied.
To be called "a wimp" for that, or naming (and blaming) yourself as such or as whatever, would be a subjective part of this - mainly because of opinionated judgment in stead of scientific analysis.
However, in an objective sense this namecalling could be a cause of deeper traumatizing on top of the initial one. And so on and so forth...
Totally agree. "Mindfulness" practice has helped me to glimpse this.
Palinurus said:Exactly this heaping up would amount to an entanglement of the quantum variety, see?
I do indeed and I appreciate that reference.
Palinurus said:That's one of the reasons why these predicaments are so difficult to unravel and the emotional upheavals so difficult to manage and/or to rearrange on an adequate footing, specific to your essence and core being, and in accordance with your aims.
Agreed. Quantum entanglements because all is in flux, no-thing stands still and in the process of observing, looking, hunting, it can be very difficult to get a "fix" on some "state".
Thank you, Palinurus. I'll finish those links tonight.