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    Enduring Trauma

    Enduring trauma in the respect of continuing not bearing with.

    I think at least with most people with CPTSD, we have a feeling of living with enduring trauma. That the trauma, abuse and neglect we were subjected to isn't just the summation of all those events, suffering and pain. The CPTSD we have has taken on a aspect that continues to traumatize us a little more each and every day of our lives.

    The aspects of our CPTSD, the disassociation, the amnesia, the hypervigilance, the emotional flashbacks, et all, take a toll on our now, on us. But it has become clear to me that all the trauma trapped in our mind(s) also has an affect of us living in a daily trauma that wounds us continuously. I think we all feel it even if we don't recognize it. Adding to the grief and suffering. Always silently exactly a toll on us in the background.

    I can feel it in the words of those of us who post here who have CPTSD.

    I have no idea what we can do about it other than working on it. I think it may be one of the aspects that never goes away. Or maybe one of the last aspects to heal since it is born out of the total affect of CPTSD.

    Saying sarcastically, synergy at work. When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In a bad way.

    #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DissociativeIdentityDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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    The Trauma/Pain Connection and How To Heal It

    The Effects of Trauma Can Last a Lifetime
    Despite the tendency of many trauma survivors to just move on with their lives after surviving childhood physical emotional. sexual abuse or neglect, assault, natural disasters or other traumas, long term, unresolved emotional distress is very common among trauma survivors. And, just as there is ongoing emotional repercussions from trauma, there are ongoing physical repercussions.

    How Trauma Causes Pain
    A traumatic event is one in which a person has been exposed to actual or perceived threats to his survival or physical wholeness that led to feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or loss of control. Trauma can involve a single incident, such as a physical or sexual assault or a car accident, or ongoing threats, such as childhood physical or emotional abuse. Generally speaking, the more trauma a person has experienced, the more likely he or she is to develop physical and emotional illnesses, including chronic pain. Among injured people, those with post-traumatic stress disorder experience more pain and respond less well to medical interventions than those who do not have the disorder.

    One study found that the more childhood trauma patient had, the higher the rate of unsuccessful lumbar spine surgery. Patients in the study had psychiatric evaluations to determine the presence or absence of five types of childhood trauma: physical abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol or drug abuse by a primary caregiver, abandonment, and emotional neglect or abuse. Patients with no childhood trauma had a surgical success rate of 95%. Patients with one type of childhood trauma had a success rate of 75%. With two types of trauma, patients’ surgical success rate declined to 43%. Those with three types of childhood trauma had a 20% success rate; with four types, 7%; and with five, 0%.

    Psychologists Peter Levine and Maggie Phillips, coauthors of Freedom from Pain, believe that unresolved trauma, held in the body, causes chronic pain for many people. They report that during their 80 combined years of clinical experience, they have discovered that pain that did not respond to any of the usual treatments could be traced back to unprocessed accumulated stress and trauma. Unresolved trauma from childhood—such as illness, hospitalizations, surgeries, birth trauma, attachment trauma, and physical and emotional neglect and abuse—can all get stirred up by a current event, including the onset of pain. Levine and Phillips found that most people in unrelenting pain were not taught early in life how to deal effectively with uncomfortable or distressing experiences, either because of neglect or because they were abused when they expressed distress.

    According to Levine, wild animals do not experience long-term trauma from stress because when they are threatened, if they survive, they complete the fight-or-flight response by either fighting back against what threatens them or fleeing the source of the threat. After the threat has passed, they literally shake off any residual effects of stress during a period of involuntary trembling.

    In contrast, humans often can’t escape or fight back, and we don’t allow our bodies to shake off the residual energy from the threatening experience. We often shift into the freeze response, a state of helplessness and hopelessness that occurs when we believe there is no escape. This unprocessed energy is often at the root of pain.

    How to Heal Trauma
    Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem, though most people never learn of them.  The way out of pain for these individuals, say Levine and Phillips, is to learn how to calm themselves in the aftermath of disturbing experiences. For a long time, most people who sought help to recover from traumatic experiences went to mental health providers who either provided talk therapy or medication. Neither of these approaches are very effective at resolving trauma. Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk discovered that when a traumatized person talks about their trauma, they get emotionally triggered and the left brain, where verbal processing takes place, shuts down. As a result, talking about the trauma can cause more emotional distress and does little to heal it.  Medication alters brain function, sometimes muting some symptoms, but does nothing to address the underlying trauma.

    Two techniques that I use in my work that I have found extremely helpful for resolving trauma are energy psychology techniques and neurofeedback.

    Read the full story here: www.paintreatmentdirectory.com/posts/the-trauma/pain-connect...

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    My Story

    My story isn't one of obvious or unique abuse, but I think its very important to share. It happened not with violence or cruel words, but with neglect of emotions and concern all together.

    My family was a typical suburban one, filled with scout trips, workaholic parents, and weekly church services. We wouldn't argue or talk, because "good families" didn't argue or have problems. We were taught that there is only one way to be and thinking or acting in any other way meant there was something wrong with us. And so we were treated as though we had to be what they expected us to be regardless of who we were, because who we were might not be what was right, based on their opinion. So as we grew, we grew to believe that the way we actually felt was completely wrong; always internally berating and criticizing ourselves for feeling that way. Its a crazy, twisted, neglectful way to always be feeling, and had me so confused about my feelings and what is right and wrong. I still have trouble sorting it all out.

    What I understand now is that it wasn't that my parents abused me, it was that they conditioned me to abuse myself. The same way so many of us do on a daily basis the moment we think we're not good enough or have to be good enough to fit the standards of others. So in the end we begin to hate ourselves, because there is no way to be good enough for someone or something else; we can only be as good as the self we choose to be. My parents abused who I was by first abusing who they were, creating a cycle of pain and self abuse that they could have never imagined, because in their heads they were doing the right thing. However, doing the right thing can never be something we force upon others. The right thing can only ever be what we choose for ourselves.

    So now I am choosing to own who I am, like I was never encouraged to do. My birth name is Marsha Dunlap, but I prefer to go by Quinn Heart. Emotional neglect is damaging, it has affected every relationship I have had; dating, friendships, family, every one. I cut off ties with my parents 4 years ago and neither of my brothers has talked to me since either. I've been slowly working through The Inner Child Workbook by Cathryn L. Taylor. Another couple books I've read and recommend are Whole Again by Jackson MacKenzie and The Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

    Unconditional love for myself is what I am working on and its hard. Some days it feels almost impossible to convince myself that I can choose anything different than what I'm used to, but I keep reminding myself that I can choose and I can be myself, and I do deserve to be who I am, no matter what others think or expect. My fiancée helped me combine a couple quotes I liked and this is what we came up with: "Every Evil Queen was once a Princess that never got rescued, becoming the same thing they needed to be rescued from. Never realizing that it was she who needed to rescue herself from who she had become."

    #emotionalneglect #mystory #unconditionallove #selfhelpbooks #healing

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    Dealing with the Dismissal of Our Needs as People with Chronic Illnesses

    Part 1 of 2 It was the summer of 2020, and I had managed about two hours of sleep the previous night. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was likely experiencing a gluten attack—having woken repeatedly with cold sweats and nausea.

    My housemates and I had a nice backyard where purple flowers bloomed from a wall of green leaves. A tall Tahoe-esque tree loomed, and our cat often sniffed at the cherry tomato bushes. Frequently, my housemate L would work back there, of her own volition.

    “Hey L,” I said to her that morning. “I didn’t sleep well last night, and I took the day off from work—so I was planning to nap for most of it. Is there any chance you might be able to take some of your calls outside today? Ia understand if you’d prefer not to, but wanted to ask in case it wouldn’t be an issue.”

    I phrased it in a way that left space for her to say no—as a request, rather than as a demand. That’s why what she said in response caught me so off guard:

    “E, I think it’s very selfish of you to ask something like that.”

    ~~

    Her response winded me. Though I hadn’t expected L to necessarily concede unequivocally to my request, I also hadn’t anticipated criticism and character attacks for simply asking (not demanding, or even expecting). A polite “no” would have gotten her point across just fine, but instead L went for the jugular. I noted as more hurt rushed in to join the pre-existing pain that had already been there.

    Incidents like these confirm my worst fears surrounding asking for help, making requests, or stating needs as a person with chronic illness. When I was first diagnosed with Celiac back in 2020, these fears briefly became even more pronounced. Extreme vigilance is necessary for Celiacs to ensure that we don’t ingest gluten. We often keep separate cutting boards and utensils, and eating out is a fraught process—one that continually comes with risk and the stress of possible gluten contamination.

    Because of all this, some see us as difficult, high-maintenance, and picky rather than simply humans just trying to protect our health against what science has proven to be a genuine threat for our bodies.

    “They think our demands and requirements are inconvenient and annoying. We are too much trouble. We are overreacting,” writes actress and author Jennifer Esposito in her memoir about living with #CeliacDisease.

    Even before I got my diagnosis, I’d written the following back in 2017: It’s become common to poke fun at people who request special food accommodations, or act like they’re a burden. They’re a common punchline in almost everything I’ve been watching or consuming lately.

    This feels unfair to me. People with food sensitivities aren’t making these requests to be difficult; they’re making them because they’re trying to take care of their health. Maybe they break out in hives when they eat gluten. Maybe they feel lethargic, low energy, and dizzy after consuming dairy. The more we make these jokes, the more we discourage people from asserting their valid, extremely important need to keep themselves healthy.

    It’s easy for those of us without food allergies or dietary restrictions to judge because we don’t suffer the consequences that they do. I think we should consider this a privilege.

    ~~

    As members of the #ChronicIllness community, how many of you have encountered dismissal when making requests that others either don’t understand, or downplay the importance of? Noise, light, and certain fragrances are common triggers for people with conditions that affect the nervous system and sensory processing. These are things that might not bother most people. But they negatively affects us.

    It’s a personal trigger for me when a person has just dismissed a need, or when I can feel them shutting down on me. There’s a unique type of panic and helplessness that sets in immediately after. Little else makes me feel more viscerally unimportant and helpless than when someone does this (which I’m working through in therapy).

    Some people respond to requests for reasonable accommodations as attacks, or as limits to their personal freedom. Maybe they think the person is just nit-picking. Or maybe they don’t realize just how profound an impact the, what’s in their eyes just a minor complaint, actually has on the asker’s well-being.

    Complaints of discomfort that is not visible unsettles some people, is I think what’s beneath a lot of these reactions. Sometimes the internal discomfort sparked by these requests pushes them to turn against the sufferer. They might think (or verbalize) things like, “It’s all in her head” or “it’s probably not that bad.”

    They don’t want to fully be

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    Dealing with the Dismissal of Our Needs as People with Chronic Illnesses

    Part 2 of 2 lieve the sufferer because doing so would welcome cognitive load. It would usher in dissonance. It would mean inviting unkempt realities into their already overly-burdened heads. Unfortunately, the resistance comes at the cost of further isolating the suffering person.

    ~~

    It can weigh on the soul to live with unmet needs. Other’s lack of understanding, or even judgement of them, exacerbates the original pain of them going unmet. For a while words and labels like the ones L used stayed inside my mind. They remained stubbornly every time I found myself at the brink of making a request. They reared their heads whenever I was about to disrupt the status quo in any small way. They surfaced and would lead me to pause.

    As Esposito put it, “People with Celiac are always apologizing. They are sorry for being an inconvenience, sorry for being annoying, sorry for not being any fun, sorry for being so much of a ‘problem.’”

    To counter some of the negativity, I began to keep a notebook of times people did respond well. When a person graces me with unanticipated validation or empathy, it feels like they’ve given me a tiny engine that helps to power my canoe through some of the day’s choppy waters. I take note of it and write it down—aware of just how much gratitude and appreciation can help to ground us and balance out some of the sting of the dismissals.

    As people with chronic illness, supportive friends can help us feel more seen and less alone. It’s important to have a support system that doesn’t treat our needs as burdens. Friends who can acknowledge our pain without denying or “silver-lining” our reality.

    ~~

    I wish it was in more people’s natures to pause and think when they encounter a need they don’t understand—rather than word- vomit out whatever label or response comes to them as a knee-jerk reaction. Ironically, the truly “selfish” people (in my mind) are the ones who refuse to consider perspectives that might differ or depart from their own.

    Still, we can learn to habituate ourselves to ignorance and dismissive comments. We can override the apprehension and ask anyways—because if there’s one thing we’ve had to learn as a means of survival, it’s to advocate for ourselves even (or especially) when others neglect to take a walk inside our shoes.

    We can also hold close those who do respond well. It will always be true that some will respond defensively. Not everyone will though, especially if we speak from a place of kindness towards both them and our own selves.

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    Understanding A Person with BPD

    Recognize the symptoms so you can set fair, compassionate boundaries. Knowing what’s normal and what’s not for a person with BPD can help you decide what boundaries are fair for both of you.

    For instance, it may upset you when your partner experiences stress-related paranoia, and you may be tempted to set a boundary like, “Don’t approach me with your concerns when they’re unfounded.” The problem with this might is that this paranoia is probably a symptom of BPD that your partner can’t help and rejecting them when they need you will hurt both of you in the long run. Instead, try saying, “Let me know when you’re experiencing intense paranoia. We’ll talk it over for a few minutes, then I’ll sit close by in the next room while you calm down.”

    Other symptoms include a fear of abandonment, unstable relationships, changes in self-image, impulsive behavior, suicidal behavior, mood swings, and feelings of anger or emptiness.

    Consider the causes of your loved one’s BPD. Though the causes of this mental illness aren’t yet fully understood, it’s possible that environmental factors such as child abuse or neglect may have impacted your loved one’s BPD, as well as genetic or brain abnormalities. Remembering that their BPD may stem from trauma, genetics, or both will help you maintain sympathy when you approach your loved one about setting boundaries.

    You could say, for example, “I know that your BPD is something you can’t always control, and that it’s linked to a painful time in your past. I don’t want to trigger those bad memories by setting boundaries, I just want to help myself so that I can better help you.”

    Understand the nuances of BPD so you can set boundaries more empathetically. BPD is a difficult and tumultuous mental illness, often characterized by an intense fear of abandonment and pattern of intense, unstable relationships. Realizing the effects of these symptoms can help you better understand your loved one’s response to your desire for boundaries.

    If your loved one experiences this extreme aversion to separation, realize that they may become upset when you approach them with the idea of setting personal boundaries, seeing it as a rejection or pulling away. They may think about difficult past relationships and be afraid that they’ll lose you as well. Approach your loved one with compassion and empathy, reassuring them that you’re not going anywhere and that you simply want to help both them and you.

    Help your loved one through their BPD. Offer to visit the doctor with them, spend quality time with them doing something you both enjoy, and tell them you love them. Showing your love and support will make them more willing to see your point of view and help them understand your desire for healthy boundaries.

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    Tips for Peole with Bipolar Disorder to get Through the Holidays #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #MentalHealth

    T= Decorating, Cooking, Shopping, Going to parties, and getting prepared to see family might trigger a mood swing. Be aware of this and try not to get overwhelmed. Take breaks and don’t feel like you have to do everything.

    H= People with bipolar disorder can have a problem with excessive spending. Be aware of this and keep a reasonable budget and do not go over it.

    A=It is very easy to miss your medication when you are busy. It is very important not to do so. You want to stay stable. Do not give into temptations to skip doses so that you can drink either.

    N= Saying “no” may be needed to keep yourself stable. If your health is on the line, it is ok to miss a party or not bake something extra for your family get together. Do your best, but realize that you have limitations. Saying yes to too many things can be detrimental.

    K= People who have bipolar disorder do better if they have a schedule. It is easy to get off that schedule during the holidays. However, it is important to keep to the schedule as much as you can.

    S= Don’t feel like everything has to be perfect. Your gifts and cookies may not be perfect, but neither will anyone else’s.

    G= Sleep is very important. Not getting enough sleep can cause a manic episode. Be very conscious of how much sleep you are getting. Leave a party early if you have to. Wrapping presents can wait until the next day rather than trying to do them too late and not getting to bed.

    I= During the holidays, many people get depressed. It is important to not isolate oneself as this can make things worse.

    V= You don’t have to see everyone on the holiday. Spread out visits with family. You can have just as much fun in October and January than in November and December.

    I= To help staying grounded and stable throughout the holiday season, it is a good idea to check in with someone often. This may be a friend or family member or you may need more appointments with your psychiatrist or therapist.

    N= Sometimes people can try and do too much. If you are feeling overwhelmed, decide what things are most important and the things you can skip. It is not worth getting sick because you didn’t prioritize.

    G= Don’t focus on others so much that you neglect yourself. By doing this, you risk getting depressed or manic.

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    Ruminating - Good or Bad

    I was reading a post by taomander about how painful ruminating can be. It made me realize something. That rumination in of itself is not a bad thing. It is a tool your mind uses to try to work through something bothering you. For many of us here, it's trauma, abuse and neglect.

    I used to ruminate compulsively. I spent many years spending many hours at night ruminating over things that were painful to me. Problems, failures, difficult people, etc... .
    Thanks to a lot of therapy and mindfulness, I don't do that anymore. Or do I?

    As I read taomander's post I realized that I still ruminate sometimes. But the reason why I didn't think I did was the nature of the rumination. I used to ruminate over things that made me feel bad. Now I ruminate over problems I have to clarify those problems. I realized that the rumination wasn't the problem. In fact, rumination is a way the mind tries to get healing or at least a path to resolution of a problem.

    I realized that my years of painful ruminations were not because ruminating is bad, it was because my conditioning, my trauma, abuse and neglect, taught me that I was worthless. It taught me to hate myself. So naturally as my mind tried its best to work on getting better I naturally went to dark places. I ruminate on painful things that detracted instead of constructed. I realized that after so much work, therapy and healing, that I've learned to love myself, forgive myself and to know what was done to me was in no way my fault, that now when I ruminate, I actually use it to work through the trauma, abuse and neglect. I actually use it to better understand my past and myself. To heal.

    It seems so self evident now. Another way trauma, abuse and neglect subverts our core. Causing a great tool of the mind to become a way to more pain and suffering. Also emphasizing the importance of therapy and learning to love ourselves.

    #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DissociativeIdentityDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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    Not Everyone Has A Pre-Trauma Self

    I can honestly say that I am always blown away when people don't realize the fact that not everyone has a pre #Trauma self. I'm always reading these stories about people who wish they could go back to their life before the trauma happened. But many of us have never experienced a time without being traumatized. Like, yeah I was traumatized beginning in the womb so... don't really know what y'all are talking about. I get it logically, but not on a heart level. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to know something besides trauma- to know what it feels like to not be traumatized and just... "live" in the world like a normal person. This is not talked about enough- even when talking about Complex PTSD which usually occurs from being traumatized beginning in early childhood- sometimes in utero or at the pre-verbal stage. It's super weird that this us such a largely neglect topic.

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    Aged 12, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes -23 years later! How different does it feel…

    In April 1999, I started getting extremely ill, getting very tired and loosing lots of weight. After a few days of not really understanding what was happening, I lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital. I woke up in the emergency room, with needles pocking out of my arms, tubes everywhere and doctors and nurses trying to talk to me, but it all felt like a weird dream. I was later told that I had had a diabetic coma and that I was diabetic type 1. My first autoimmune disease: I thought my world had ended. Accepting my diabetes was very hard for me; it took me years before I truly accepted it and let it stop controlling me.

    I will never forget the first doctor who treated me for my diabetes at this hospital in Marbella; he simply had no compassion. When I gained consciousness and my mother arrived at the hospital, he showed me insulin and syringes and told me that I would have to inject myself three times a day and simply walked away. The next morning, I was checked out of hospital although my physical condition was still very poor. I came back home faced with this new sickness I didn’t understand anything about. I knew I had to inject myself and that was it, I didn’t understand why, how, or what was happening to me. Fearing needles since I was a kid, I had panic attacks whenever blood was drawn from me did not help with the acceptance of my diabetes. The first few weeks were a nightmare for everyone, I didn’t know how to inject myself so my mum had to; she would run after me before every injection because I wouldn’t let her touch me.

    We finally decided in June that I should go spend some time in a hospital in Paris where both me and my parents would get to understand diabetes. I went to Paris for 10 days and got educated on diabetes but to be honest understanding what was happening to me made me resent my condition even more.

    The next year and half were complete disasters. I was angry at the world; I couldn’t understand why I was so different. I was outraged that my diabetes required me to be responsible when every kid around me was just the opposite. So, I decided that the best way to express my anger was to self-sabotaging. The clearest way to me was to neglect my diabetes, and that is exactly what I did for a year and half. I wouldn’t do my injections, or I would eat tons of sugar when I wasn’t meant to. This resulted in me ending up in a near diabetic coma in hospital almost every three weeks. The hospital room almost became my second home, to the point where the local joke was that I should decorate the hospital room to my liking as I was spending more time in there than in my actual room.

    At the age of 16, another doctor sat me down and caught on with my self-sabotaging. He calmly looked at me and told me straight up, diabetes today can be very well managed, you can live a very normal life with barely any complications if you decide to get your act together and start taking care of yourself. Or you can continue this self-sabotaging of yours and die a very slow painful death where no one will be able to take you out of your misery. You see the thing is with diabetes, is that neglecting treatment doesn’t cause immediate damage, it takes time, it hurts, and your body slowly gives up bit by bit. That speech changed me and although it took me another 10 years to really start taking care of myself properly, something changed that day and I stopped the conscious sabotaging.

    It took me 10 years to properly understand that diabetes took discipline and that if I incorporated that discipline in my daily routine, the steps I needed to take every day where like brushing my teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed. It was a matter of understanding that I needed to use insulin to live, to change my eating habits without completely depriving myself from everything and to learn that the more I moved even if it was just walking the better. The day I realized all these things, I realized I didn’t need to fight diabetes, it could become part of my daily routine.

    With that realization came so much peace and came so much gratitude. I finally felt comfortable in my body, I finally felt healthy, and I finally felt like I was in control again.

    23 years on, I almost forget I am type 1 diabetic. Injections are part of my daily routine, eating a healthy diet and allowing myself from time to time to have dessert has never been easier and moving my body to feel better has never felt so right. Had I been well informed and to a certain extent well coached when I first found out I had diabetes, things would have been so much easier. I advise people who first get diagnosed whatever their age, to read a lot about it, to ask their doctors as many questions as they want, to see a good nutritionist that will guide them through carb counting and healthy eating and to get into a sports routine with someone that has a minimum of an understanding of what diabetes is. Doing too much exercise and not eating enough for example is a recipe for a hypoglycemia which is not pleasant at all.

    If I had one wish, is that I had met other diabetic kids when I was younger, maybe that would have helped, and I wouldn’t have taken that long to regain power. If I had had better doctors who instead of forcing information on me, listened to me and had been a bit more understanding it would have also helped. I would have probably not taken so long to gain control of my body. I am extremely lucky 23 years down the line and now with numerous other autoimmune diseases that have been diagnosed, that my diabetes is so well controlled I almost forget I have it. My HbA1c varies between 6 and 7, I have no diabetic complications despite having other serious health problems which is a miracle! And I am grateful that getting diabetes thought me discipline and gave me strength that I may have not gained especially that I have used it to face many other health challenges that came as I got older.

    My two cents on the topic are the sooner you accept something the simpler it becomes. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s quite straightforward really, when you don’t have a choice, it all comes down to accepting. #Type1Diabetes #ChronicIllness #AutoimmuneDisease #autoimmune #dailystrugles