Hello

This is a place for old members to come and share how their healing journeys have progressed.
Its also a place for those members to reconnect and share their experiences.

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Killenger1019
Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Re: Hello

Post by Killenger1019 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:28 am

River Posted,
“I look through the glasses of my past experiences and support these not so healthy biases of myself, life based on that...and trying to be good, but never feeling like it’s good enough or guilty for not measuring up to other's standards or myself's. And I don't think I have value and I have plenty of other abusive people in my life who help re-enforce that belief.”


River thanks for being open and sharing something that I know is hard. I know and understand all too well what you are talking about and to be honest there is a big difference between logically understanding something and emotionally. Really until you do understand it in both ways it never really becomes true and that is something I had to learn too. At the bottom of this post I wrote more about the conformation bias and I put it there so if or when you want to read it you can. With that being said I am glad that you have a good understanding of what the conformation bias represents, really that is the first step, awareness.

First question was about my faith. “Sounds like your faith is important to you?”
Faith is and was a very import piece to my healing journey and it’s not so much about church or even God (even though I do believe in God) for that matter but faith represented something else that I needed in order to heal. It helped me to be able to overcome fear and really wasn’t until I really started to act on that faith I started to become free to act. I stood up for myself at work (co-worker who had been very disrespectful), confronted the marital issues I was having (thinking it would bring an end to my marriage), starting just being myself (recognizing that not everyone is going to like me and that was okay), and took a good hard look at the behaviors that put me in this position to begin with (such as not being honest, being too passive, not being willing to act a little goofy for fear of judgment, ect). Each time at first it was hard, but it has since gotten easier. When I started doing this I thought for sure my marriage was going to end, I would lose my job, and people would hate me. It took a real act of faith for me to do what I knew I had too not knowing what was going to happen. I don’t regret a thing….

Second question, “How did you give up your coping mechanisms?”
Even though the abuse started when I was only 3 and didn’t end until I was 12 I have always had a clear memory about the abuse I endured so I think that helped with not having to difficult of a way of coping. One thing I have learned from being here is many of the people here will spend many many years trying only just to get past the very complex coping tools they have developed because of the abuse. Even though some are harder than the others I think the main purpose of them is to give us an outlet. A way to cope as the term would go. For me the real healing didn’t start until I was capable of overcoming my previous ways of coping. My way primarily of coping was through addictions. So in short I got help to overcome the addictions. Because there was a two step process to this it was quite hard, the first step was dealing with all the crappy things I had done to others as a result of the addictions and that for me was extremely challenging. I may be very forgiving of others for some reason I don’t allow myself that same freedom. The second part was trying to deal with the root of the addiction and that was the abuse. When I quit it was the first time I had been completely sober since I was 13 years old and the first time in many many years I had to feel all of those things I so desperately didn’t want to. That is what drove me to seek help. I underwent some EMDR therapy found this place, and went to a SIA group a couple of times.

3rd question, what is cognitive dissonance?
You have no idea how glad I am that you asked this question because this is what pieces it all together. Here is the exact meaning.

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction. For example, an individual is likely to experience dissonance if he or she is addicted to smoking cigarettes and continues to smoke despite believing it is unhealthy.

This by itself probably doesn’t make much sense but to explain further we are going to use a model that is called the BITE method.
BITE stands for
B – Behavior
I – Information
T – Thought
E – Emotion.

Think of this as three points like this. The < represents a point. In this example we are going to ignore the information part of the bite method but later I may post more about it.

--------Behavior--------
Thought < ^ > Emotion

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
--------Information--------

Each one of these has an impact on another and what the cognitive dissonance is referring to is what happens when the direct connection between the 3 points (behavior, thought, emotion) become unconnected through conflicting with each other. If our thoughts are conflicted with our emotion and or behavior then there is a break in the system and the system will correct itself until it is back in line with itself. During that period we experience a feeling of discomfort or unease.

In the beginning of this post I posted,
“I know and understand all too well what you are talking about and to be honest there is a big difference between logically understanding something and emotionally”.

This explains why we must understand both logically and emotionally that we have value before it actually becomes “real” to us.


Anyhow…
River again, thanks for the great questions and pls feel free to ask more if you would like. You have no idea how much I have enjoyed being able to share this with you and I soon I will post more about this but for the night I think I have uploaded a ton to read and process.

Take care.


FYI…. Here are some explanations about the conformation bias. One of the more extreme versions of this playing itself out is anorexia. For this person their entire world turns against them as it becomes the reason why someone is looking at them, every time they look into a mirror, try on clothes, their day to day habit’s all come back to validate their interpretations of themselves. Even though it plays itself out over and over in so many different forms this is an extreme case. No matter how mild or severe at first it is a hard habit to break. A milder version is in the realm of religion. Atheist and Christens have been fighting their sides since the dawn of science and really both sides often over look the evidences or facts of the other points of view. Ironically the only way they can do this is to dismiss, explain away, or deflect any evidences that don’t support their point of view. The same is true for the anorexia (that is the filter I was talking about). Here is the double edge sword. Our perspective of other’s often relates back to our perspective of ourselves so someone who has anorexia is probably very intolerant of someone who is truly over weight and probably very jealous of someone who they feel has the perfect body. Ironically comparisons only again serve as a validation that acts as a confirmation that their beliefs are valid.

River
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Hello

Post by River » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:33 pm

Killenger1019, thanks for all the information. Will take some time to process. I appreciate hearing about your healing journey and the process you took. I'm learning so much! I hope you share more.

River

Killenger1019
Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Re: Hello

Post by Killenger1019 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:54 am

Thanks river as yes your right, it's a lot to take in.

Can I ask you some questions? Please only anwser the questions you want to.

What does "having value" look like to you?
What does love look like too you?
What does respect look like to you?

If you had one word to describe yourself what would that be?

River
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Hello

Post by River » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:17 am

Killenger1019,

Right now we have very mixed up, confusing thoughts about what all that looks like to us. What does it look like to you?

River

godiva
Member
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Hello

Post by godiva » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:13 pm

Killenger,

thank you so much for so interesting information.

godiva

River
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Hello

Post by River » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:33 am

I agree with you Godiva..."so much interesting information." Its so helpful to hear the process of another's healing journey. And gives us hope.

River

Killenger1019
Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Re: Hello

Post by Killenger1019 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:20 am

Hey thanks Godiva and river, I will post more later. I just moved so that is why I've been held up. Anyhow thanks for your kind words both of u.

River
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Hello

Post by River » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:44 am

Killenger1019,

All the best with your move! I hope your really happy with your new home and you will have many great times there!

River

Killenger1019
Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Re: Hello

Post by Killenger1019 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:01 am

Thank you River, I appreciate your kind words!

To address your previous statement
“Right now we have very mixed up, confusing thoughts about what all that looks like to us”.

I completely understand River, for me too there was a level of confusion on all of those things as well. It wasn’t so much about me not being able to logically understand what I thought those things meant as it was about me making compromises in each of those areas of my life in order to complete a need that I couldn’t meet on my own, that need was self love. To explain, because I didn’t like me there were many areas of my life that were effected such as 80% of my behavioral patterns would suggest but here are really a few things that showed up on my behavioral patterns that you may find interesting. The first was I would often dismiss complements. My rationalization was it was just someone being nice and that they really didn’t mean it. With that I also believed that if someone wasn’t pointing out my flaws then they weren’t being honest with me. This again represents the conformation bias which allows us to filter our own realities. Another behavior I had adopted was some attention seeking behaviors. For example when I was single I found that by sleeping around as much as possible it helped me to compensate for my feeling of inadequacy. Because those things were not really what I needed from a relationship it still left me feeling empty on the inside but I have to admit for a time it did help me to get by. It was just as much of a mask as drinking and drugs were because they provided me temporary relief from my truth. What I learned is often when we don’t like ourselves we bring on co-dependent behaviors by doing things that look for the acceptance and or approval of others around us, to many of us attention (negative or good) is equaled to love. Anyhow I hope that all of this makes sense.

I could give you my answers to the questions I asked you but in truth they are just my interpretations of what those things mean. To each of us it’s slightly different and really there are no exactly right or wrong answers. There are answers that are truer than others but no definite set. The only reason why I asked you is often our own answers to those questions can be very exposing as to how our perspectives have been altered because of the abuse. As you said, you are very confused over those things and that is one out of many ways being abuse effects us. That is really what I mean by healing is dealing with the effects of the abuse and not so much about dealing with your perspective about it. I can openly admit that I hate that I was abused and I am okay with that. Tbh, this is one thing that will never change for me.

Take care River!

River
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Hello

Post by River » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:23 am

Killenger1019,

How do you like your new place? Did you get settled in ok?


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your healing journey with me. I am learning so much and it is helpful to see the "how to" explained specifically. Can I ever relate to your post. When you became aware of your behaviors and why...how did you change them? How did you change your confirmation biases or your beliefs so you could change your behaviors? Like believing others when they compliment you, or looking for love and acceptance from men by sleeping around so much, drugs, etc, etc?

I don't like myself very much and do alot of self-destructive behaviors, etc. And as far as answering the questions about value, love and respect....I can give you the "right answers"...or text book definitions.....so I am not sure how it would expose my perspectives based on my abuse? How do I do that? Or how do I heal the effects? I know I don't value, love and respect myself...but I don't know how to change that?

Thanks
River

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