Saturday, January 1, 2022

The post at the top

Thank you for reading my work.  Seriously.


  Thank you.  

I've decided to tackle this post early on to think through how to handle things before they arise.

There are some rules - basic stuff. Please take the minute to read over them.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Paradox #2

The turmoil of having an anxious/ambivalent attachment style is in some ways worse than those these folks have in their relationship with others. The internal conflicts involving panic that a partner will leave them and fighting to contain the behaviors that ensue from that panic are horrendous.

They have an inner conflict going on all the time. 

Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment Style: An Examination of Its Causes and How It Affects Adult Relationships


The article above specifically addresses relationships and the way that a person with CPTSD approaches them.

But, this internal ambivalence isn't confined to relationships, it bleeds out and touches everything. In my head that ambivalence colors every corner. From core beliefs of my own worthiness and capability, to my value as a human and a host of other self-identification parameters.

For example:

I received a glowing compliment from an editor on my latest work. Most people would think this a good thing. It would act as verification that they were doing well, a pat on the back. Validation! It would spur them to continue their work.

However, in my mind, that initial rush of "Wonderful" is welded to the thought "That can't be right."

And from that well-meant compliment springs a host of worries. That all lead back to one option, and one option only. "Quit now, before it all falls apart."

Some people might look at this and think "imposter syndrome." But, it goes further than that. This example is just one area of my life. In truth that ambivalence is everywhere.

It plays out on two stages - side by side.


On the first stage in my head, I have this driving need to be perfect. Absolutely perfect. Flawless. I push and I strive for that, and whatever I do, or achieve it is never enough. For one simple immutable reason. What is going on over on the other stage.

This stage has one purpose, to remind me of one fact. The fact that I am not enough.
- not good enough
- not smart enough
- not pretty enough

Not enough in any measure, not possible. Not me.


Incoming compliments are equally fished for and avoided. And, if someone has made the mistake to think I have done something worthwhile, then I should not revel in their mistaken perception, but I should instead correct it. Because if they continue in this idea, when they see the truth of me, they will feel deceived, and then leave.

Being abandoned is my greatest fear. It is the fear that strikes at my core. So, to keep people from leaving me I scuttle out of the light. I linger in the fringes of the darkness, barely seen. Because if people don't know I'm there, they can't choose to leave me.

So here I stand divided, one foot in light, one foot in shadow. Torn in both directions because if I'm not good enough, people will abandon me and because if I allow people to think I'm worthy they will abandon me when the deception is revealed.

It's a no-win situation, that can only be survived by remaining unnoticed.






Thursday, September 19, 2019

Very Short Story Sept. 19, 2019 - Cavernous

The hole in my chest is cavernous. It should be impossible for a human body to contain this much emptiness. The echoes created there ripple out between past and present, creating confusion between the then and the now. I survive with one foot nailed in the past.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Dear America - you are genuinely fucking insane


Have you ever been so frustrated by what you see around you? I hit one of those points yesterday and just had to say something, anything.

This is a rant. I use strong language. It is not thought out, nor edited.
And, I am allowed a rant in my own space.
So, if this is not to your taste - skip it. Or try one of the literally millions of other blogs out there.


Twitter thread below: https://twitter.com/MStewartWrites/status/1157017414191788035


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Sowing a bitter future

I should be doing almost anything else. Instead, I am sitting at my desk, reading the spines of the books nearby and thinking about our future. When I say 'our future', I mean America, immigrants, children, citizens and yes, my family and myself.

I'll admit to being worried, or at least, well beyond concerned.

Why?
Because what I see unfolding at ICE detention centers, holding children is a valid source of concern. Not just for the immediate humanitarian failures of our nation, but for the future, their future, our future.
Almost every American likes the image that we as a nation have projected out to the world. The image that says: we are the 'white hats', we are 'the moral', we are the bootstrap pulling log cabin building rugged Americans. It's a pretty picture. Hell, it is tattooed on the American psyche along with baseball, mom, and apple pie. There's only one problem with it.

That picture of our superiority is an illusion.

There is nothing moral, or noble, or brave about stripping children from their parents. There is nothing good about incarcerating toddlers.

Land of the free. Home of the brave.  If you still believe that, you haven't been paying attention.

We lost that high-ground the minute the first screaming child was pulled from his parent's arms. But, I really feel that I shouldn't need to say any of that. I imagine that any sane, moral person is nodding along. I am, in essence, preaching to the choir.

And what does all of that have to do with the books on my desk? Five of the books within reach deal with the topics of trauma, childhood, and complex-PTSD.

I know the word 'trauma', has probably lost a third of the folks who made it this far. The word is overused, it's become a cliche, a punchline. But take a moment and forget all the pop-culture references and look at how a mental health specialist would look at the word.

Trauma: an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and which involved fear, helplessness, or horror. 

The definition above is derived from the American Psychiatric Association's current definition of posttraumatic stress disorder. How many of those do you think the children in ICE custody have experienced? 

What will this exposure do to them? To some of them, nothing. The human mind is a remarkable and resilient creation. To some of them, there will be stress from the events that they will need to process to overcome. But, there is a cross-section of these children who will be changed by these experiences.

How?
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) found that survivors of childhood trauma are up to 5,000 percent more likely to attempt suicide, have eating disorders, or become IV drug users. These actions, that we as a nation are taking, are sowing the seeds of destruction. 

We are creating the next crop of children who will be vulnerable to becoming the very things that a cowering segment of the American population fears. Their boogeymen will become real because they created the conditions to impact the minds of the young in the first place.

The irony of that statement. Go ahead. Soak in it for a minute.
Then remember.
All of this is in our power to stop.

America, time to wake up.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Meme: Compassion is strength

I made this last night. The image is from fb/PlanetTiger.  It's a great cause to support.
#cptsd


Paradox #1

Since they never develop a sense of safety, they distrust others while simultaneously searching for a “rescuer” who can finally give them the unconditional positive regard they were robbed of in childhood.
     ~National Center for PTSD
My earliest fantasies were of a man, a Prince, who would rescue me. In my dreaming, I was always asleep, or sick, or injured before this magical person arrived. Their presence rewrote me. With them, I was well. With them I was alive. I physically ached for that person. The hole in my chest that remained exposed and empty hurt. Because I knew, I knew with all my heart and soul that this magical being would make me complete. And so I remained in my prison, waiting.