adverse childhood experiences

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    Nowhere to go from here

    My wife just blew up at me. We need to communicate better, she said. She has a habit of telling me what negative thoughts I am thinking and feeling, and then adding, "well am I wrong?" to it. This is years in the making. Essentially, it happens when she asks me a question or tells me about something, and my tone of voice sounds negative to her, or my face or body language looks negative.

    I have chronic pain as well as deep depression, so it is difficult for me to convincingly put on a happy face, or speak with joy in my voice. But I do try my best to speak in neutral tones at the very least, and I have thought that I have a resting face of a neutral mood or higher as much as possible.

    It has been building for a long time. I am struck out of the blue most times when she tells me what I am thinking, and how unfair that is, and paints me as the bad guy and her as the innocent one. In the early days, it would just shock me, and sometimes confuse me. In the last couple of years, it just makes me angry and defensive. We've had plenty of arguments about it, but no agreement. She doesn't see it as mind reading because she says "I 'feel like' you were disgusted by what I just said, and you shouldn't be", or "I 'feel' that you think I'm stupid just because I did X, or Y". She says since she uses the word "feel", she isn't mind reading, and so it's up to me to tell her if she's right or wrong. Well, I have been telling her she's wrong for over 40 years now, and that only makes her angry and defensive. I told her time and again that I get mad when people try to read my mind and put words into my mouth. I tell her to skip saying the part about what she is so sure that I am thinking, and just ASK ME what I am thinking, instead. Ninety percent of the time, I am not only NOT thinking what she thinks I am, but I am thinking about some other subject altogether. Then when she accuses me of thinking some negative thing, it hits me out of the blue, and I register it as an insult. I asked her why she can't just ASK me what I am thinking, or ask me how I am feeling. I would welcome both of those if they were honest questions. I would feel like I was cared about. That makes perfect sense to me, but she doesn't see it that way. She says that she's just being honest, and that she IS asking me how I feel, or what I am thinking, when she tells me what she feels like I am thinking. We can't get past that. So she got louder and more accusatory, and then angrily walked out.

    I don't know what to do. I am battling Major Depressive Disorder, CPTSD, Anxiety, ADHD and severe Chronic Pain. I am doing the very best that I can. I am on disability, and I fill my days and evenings reading books on my various diagnoses, learning as much as I can, so that I can better control, or adapt, or adjust to the reality of my life, and I do feel good about that. I have tried to share some of this with her, both verbally, and by sharing articles with her via email. She seems stand-offish about it, at best. When I ask her outright if she wants to learn more, she swears she does, but she has a life, therefore she just doesn't have the time or energy to read much about it. I told her a few minutes ago that I will stop burdening her with it, and will stop sending her articles and such. She rebuffed that idea, but added again that she just doesn't have the time. She said she is doing the best that she can in trying to deal with all my problems, and she doesn't have the energy or the will to do it any more. She's "had it."

    She came back and brought up another time recently that I was unreasonable, saying that she had told me something about her job, and I had reacted with sarcasm and disgust. I remember it well. It was just the opposite. She told me that her employer was giving $50 bonuses to anyone who got a Covid booster shot, and I responded "wow, that must be nice. Go ahead and do that." She and I both agree that that's all that I said. But she says I was being sarcastic, and spit the words out like venom, and I thought it was disgusting. I remember calmly saying those words, genuinely happy for her to get $50 just for getting a shot that we both were going to get anyway. The difference, more than likely, was the fact that during the time that she was unwinding after work and telling me bonus, as well as about the rest of her day, I was in a pit of depression, and I was in a ton of physical pain from my legs and my back. I know that had to have affected the tone of my voice, the look on my face, and my body language. But I don't talk about the pain, because it would sound whiney and redundant. I was just sitting there listening to her, and I thought I answered appropriately and honestly. Anyway, that night, after I had answered her, she responded by telling me what (she believed) I was thinking and feeling, and she wanted to know what my response was. My response was "that's not an argument I am willing to have right now." To me, I was angry that "it" was happening again, and I could argue about it like so many times before, or I could choose not to. I chose not to argue. To her, I had just insulted her, and said she isn't worth arguing with, and since I had not argued, then what she had thought about me must indeed be true.

    If (and when) she "reads my mind" again, and assigns various negative thoughts and feelings to me, we could bypass all of this trouble if she could just hold those 'mind-read thoughts' inside, and just ask me two simple questions, instead. First, "how are you feeling?" And second, "what are you tinking." I will gladly and honestly answer her. But I just can't take any more veritable accusations for thinking and feeling certain ways, and then be expected to explain or defend myself, meanwhile letting it roll off me like water off of a duck's back. It's not an argument I'm having anymore.

    Thanks for listening.
    ♧♧♧

    #MajorDepressiveDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #CPTSD #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Anxiety #ADHD #Autism #BodyFocusedRepetitiveBehaviors #PathologicalDemandAvoidanceSyndrome #AutismSpectrumDisorders #TreatmentresistantDepression #TRD #ASD #anhedonia #ChronicDepression #ChronicPain #SpinalStenosis #GAD #Sadness #CombinedPresentationADHD #SmilingDepression #SocialAnxietyDisorder #Disability #MentalHealth #Insomnia #DiabetesType2 #Diabetes #Asthma #Hypertension #Hypervigilance #nerveandjointpain #HearingLoss #Grief #generationaltrauma #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #TraumaRecovery #Trauma #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #MedicalTrauma #IntergenerationalTrauma #Trauma #SexualTrauma #traumasurvivor #Survivor #EmotionalAbuse #ChiildhoodSexualAbuse #ChildhoodEmotionalAbuse #PsychologicalAbuse #PTSD #AdverseChildhoodExperiences #ChildhoodAbuse #ReactiveAttachmentDisorder #RAD #attachment #Childhoodneglect #attachmentdisorder #ChildAbuseandNeglect #FearOfAbandonment #abandonment #Suicide #SuicideLossSurvivors #SuicidalThoughts #SuicidalIdeation #PassiveSuicidalIdeation #suicidal #Depression #MajorDepression

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    "All life is rhythmic." #DrBrucePerry

    ACEs Matter
    Nurture the Neurons
    Strengthen the Roots
    👀 Every person & household deserves to learn about #aces.

    #PACEs #AdverseChildhoodExperiences
    #resilience #abundance #polyvagal

    #whathappenedtoyou ---> see below

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    Become a Board Member because ... We need more mentally healthy adults

    Become A Board Member because ... We need more mentally healthy adults and we can tell by your expertise, you’d be a great voice and contributor to the mission of ACEs Matter.

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” - Frederick Douglas

    Learning and doing something about ACEs could teach you or someone you love about ​childhood traumas ​that are related to depression, obesity, crime rates, poor employee performance, and other health concerns (just to name a few).

    The more people we can educate about ACEs, the more we can collectively stop the roots of family trees from rotting.

    We hope that someone that has never heard about ACEs will want to hear and learn from what we teach about generational cycles of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction.

    www.acesmatter.org/new-board-members.html

    #ACEsMatter #AdverseChildhoodExperiences #MentalHealthAwareness #compassion #volunteering

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    Resilience #resilience #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #Trauma

    No matter the depth of damage and pain we experience, our truest selves have the capacity to vanquish those demons, never completely gone, but enough to have full, productive lives. That is not to say we ever forget or heal entirely from true trauma. I don’t believe in “forgive and forget…just let it go.” If something scars one deeply enough that the pain is carried for the rest of one’s life, it is then part of who we are, and we can’t “forget” or “let go” pieces of our own selves.

    Those who’ve lost loved ones, suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or poverty and neglect, survivors of war, natural disasters - all experiences that leave us profoundly and permanently changed, into something new and strong or broken and shattered; or, for many of us, some combination thereof. From my perspective, it’s a position of profound privilege or denial to say that we are not forever and irrevocably changed by those moments, be they one, or hundreds. These events and emotions need to be acknowledged - seen, felt and heard - by ourselves, if no one else, before they can be set aside and managed as solely background info and context to who we are today.

    Open up that little box, buried deep inside, where all the painful things get shoved and sealed away. Open that box, remember, grieve, rage, weep, let the emotions rack you, flow through you, and ebb away. When they’ve ebbed, gently close the box, tuck it back away to revisit another day. The next time you open it will be a little easier, as will each time after that. Think of that box as containing radioactive waste – each time its opened, some leaks out and goes away – leaving you and your toxic box a tiny bit lighter each time. But if it is never opened, it fills and fills, pressured from inside, to release suddenly one day in the most unexpected of ways or circumstances. Sometimes, people aren’t even aware that that little box of buried pain is the cause of their current response or reaction to something seemingly unrelated.

    What we can do is find ways to live with and manage the pain, so that it becomes only painful memories and not defining moments in our lives, forever changing our potential or path forward for the worse. For me, the more I wrote, discussed, analyzed and revisited these stories, the less pain and power they held for me. When I began writing this, (shortly after leaving home at sixteen) my hand shook so it was nearly illegible and I struggled to keep my hand controlled enough to write for more than a few minutes at a time, before being overtaken by full body shakes. While there are still stories in here that evoke those physical responses, they are progressively fewer and less intense.

    I have discovered that no matter how far one is pushed, and how many handicaps are thrown in one’s way, the human spirit is unbelievably strong.

     #memoir   #AdverseChildhoodExperiences   #MentalHealth #AbuseSurvivors #Anxiety #Depression

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    Resilience #resilience #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #Trauma

    I was born of a tornado, birthed by a turbulent, powerful and unpredictable storm. Raised in an earthquake – ever shifting, fracturing, unstable – I never stood on solid ground. My siblings and I, tempest tossed seeds – fragile, unformed, lacking roots – bound by genetics and bonds formed of chaos. Forged in battering winds and destroying fire, we all learned to dance across ever shifting sand under our feet – pulled hither and yon by implacable ocean tides. Like redwood seeds - enduring and beautiful beings – birthed only from fiery destruction.
                    Spirits embodied by Willow, Ivy, Orchid, Sunflower, Dandelion, Hemlock, each of us possessed of wildly different strengths and flaws. Twisted and broken in places, still we grew and survived into our predestined forms, shaped but not destroyed by the whirlwind from whence we came.

    #memoir #AdverseChildhoodExperiences #AbuseSurvivors #Anxiety #Depression #MentalHealth