A Different Truth

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Your brain will only believe what you tell it is true.

Your brain is not an artificial intelligence. It is a taught repeater. It does not make up things on its own.

The information that is taken into your brain is what your brain will put back out.

And anything that is put into your brain by either yourself or others with belief that it is true, your brain will believe it is true. It does not matter whether it is actually true or not. If you say it to your brain and you believe that it is true on any level, your brain will process it as the truth.

If it is repeated to your brain over and over and over throughout your life it becomes embedded as a neural pathway related to an image, experience, words, and trauma. Those things when recalled as memories are always attached to the truth you have told your brain about them.

Your brain will not repeat something else unless you tell it to and you believe what you are telling it that you now believe about these memories.

Think of the most often repeated phrase in your brain related to yourself in a negative way. Some of the more common ones: I am not worth love, I am stupid, I cannot do anything right, I am not perfect, I am not good enough, I am not valued, I am fat, I am a disappointment, I have to make others happy. Whatever your most repeated phrase is say it out loud.

Then pay very close attention to what image, whose voice, what experience, what trauma is attached to these words. Someone else made you feel this way. You were not born believing this negative crap. Someone caused you to internalize it. Think back, way back, these things almost always start in childhood from birth to age 7. Who do you see, who do you hear, what images do you remember, what emotions do you remember feeling?

This is where your brain started believing that this phrase was true. And every time it has been repeated by others and repeated by yourself has reinforced it into your mind as the truth…the only truth. Even though it is a lie. Your brain does not know anything other than this repeated statement you have believed is true.

How do we change this? We must repeat something else to our brains in relation to these memories. How about the actual truth? And not what someone else told you or showed you that THEY felt. It was never what you felt about yourself until you repeated it and believed it.

How long will it take to retrain your brain? It can take a while, a long while in some cases and you must be absolutely diligent in your new repetitions. Every day, every time the lies come up, EVERY SINGLE TIME. You must confront the old beliefs every time and immediately with the new ones.

It is hard work. It is a long process. And it is the only way to emotional freedom and health. As long as you live believing the lies, your emotions, relationships, and life will be chaos.

It is time to speak a different truth to yourself starting right now.

Until next time be well,

Deborah

Resilience

resilience

A great many people in the world have suffered from childhood trauma. A study in 1995 by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente studied the rates of childhood trauma and the correlation of that trauma and the increase in adulthood of physical, mental, and emotional issues.

The ACEs questionnaire was developed out of this study. (Click the link to find out your ACEs score) There are 10 questions with five related to personal trauma and five related to household trauma. Of the 17,000 people in the study, 87 percent had more than one ACEs (Adverse Childhood Events). Later studies in the US showed that as many as 12% of the people in 36 states had suffered more than four ACEs.

Conversely, the resilience questionnaire was developed in 2006 an revised in 2013 in the belief that people who had a higher ACEs score and then a higher resiliency score might possibly be protected from negative outcomes later in life. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover from difficulties; toughness.

There has been some controversy over both tests especially in the beliefs that ALL people with high ACEs scores will have adverse negative affects in adulthood or that ALL people with correlating high resiliency scores will not have adverse affects later in life.

Every person is different, every brain is different, every person’s experiences are different and outcomes will not be the same for everyone. However, there is evidence that those with high ACEs scores and low resiliency scores can experience adverse negative effects (physical illness, mental illness, and emotional trauma) in adulthood.

So what is your resiliency score? Here is the questionnaire:

RESILIENCE Questionnaire

Please choose the most accurate answer under each statement:

1. I believe that my mother loved me when I was little.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

2. I believe that my father loved me when I was little.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

3. When I was little, other people helped my mother and father take care of me and they seemed to love me.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

4. I’ve heard that when I was an infant someone in my family enjoyed playing with me, and I enjoyed it, too.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

5. When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

6. When I was a child, neighbors or my friends’ parents seemed to like me.
Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

7. When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

8. Someone in my family cared about how I was doing in school.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

9. My family, neighbors and friends talked often about making our lives better.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

10. We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

11. When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

12. As a youth, people noticed that I was capable and could get things done.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

13. I was independent and a go-getter.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

14. I believed that life is what you make it.

Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

Again, both the ACEs and the resilience questionnaire are guidelines for further exploration and conversation. Both can be used in therapy to help address past trauma and strengthening resilience.

If you have a higher ACEs score it may be helpful to seek out and work with a trauma-informed trained therapist to process your childhood trauma to reduce adverse negative affects they may be having in your life now.

Remember, there is always help, hope, and healing available.

Until next time,
Deborah

Fear of Being Alone

alone

One of the things that comes up again and again when working with people is the fear of being alone. In many of these instances this fear can be traced back to childhood trauma with chaotic family dynamics and lack of self worth and feeling loved. As the child grows they continually seek out this self worth and love from both the family, who may or may not be able to provide that, and from relationships with others. And because people find themselves in damaged places emotionally they can often make poor choices in those relationships.

In these relationships people often gravitate towards partners who are emotionally unattached in some ways. Someone who really doesn’t show that they need them or want them. Someone who doesn’t want or accept any children they may have. Someone who can easily let them go or cheat on them. It provides a kind of constant chase or work to get these people to be invested in them much like they would have had to do with family who wasn’t emotionally invested in them. The other kind of relationship people who fear being alone gravitate to is one where the other person is extremely controlling and seemingly very invested in them. If the partner is constantly questioning what someone is doing, where they are going, who they are with, wanting them to be with them 24/7 then the person who feels alone will think they are getting all the attention (love) from their partner when it is actually abuse.

Once people become involved in these kinds of relationships, they may also have a tendency to excuse bad behaviors of their partners to hold on to the relationships. This is usually also a learned behavior from childhood trauma. Excusing family for bad behaviors so that the family might still love them and see them as valuable by their defense of them. Also, in order to try and hold on to those damaged family relationships people try to avoid conflict at all costs even accepting physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse in order not to lose this relationship. This translates to older relationships and the same patterns occur over and over.

Another byproduct of the fear of being alone is holding on to past relationships in order to have a back up if the current relationship ends. Because many people who fear being alone have no self worth or self esteem they feel they must have someone else to validate that in them even if it is negative validation, it is still someone whose attention is on them. Something they did not get in their childhood traumas and family relationship chaos. These past relationships become the fall back even if they are abusive, it is still someone to pay attention to them, someone for them to chase, someone to provide them with a false sense of self worth.

So, how does one avoid falling into these relationship patterns and fighting this fear of being alone. There is only one way – working through, processing, and accepting the childhood trauma so that there can be understanding of the choices they are now making in their relationships and to work on building their own self worth, self esteem, self love.

It is not an easy path to change. The fear of being alone and the childhood trauma have been a part of their lives for a very long time, years, and it has become an automatic behavior. It can take a very long time to rework and replace those thought and feelings and build a new way of thinking and feeling. It takes a lot to create a life for yourself that you do not need another person to make it okay for you.

Until next time,
Deborah

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