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Messages - zanzoken

Please Introduce Yourself Here / Re: So scared
August 10, 2021, 03:32:32 AM
Hi Juliaguarde, welcome to the forum.   :heythere:  I'm sorry to hear about the abuse you've suffered, and the challenges you are experiencing.  Being without safe and supportive relationships among the people in your life is really difficult... it's something I struggle with too.  But I believe OOTS is a safe place, with good people who just want to help, so I'm glad you are here.

It looks to me like you have done a lot of work to understand yourself and the trauma you've been faced with.  That takes a lot of courage, and is very commendable.  I hope you'll be able to continue to build on that foundation and find the peace and acceptance you're looking for.

I wish you all the best, and hope to see you around the forum.  :)
Recovery Journals / Re: zanzoken's journal
August 05, 2021, 07:08:40 AM
BeeKeeper, thank you for your kind words and for sending me a hug.  The one commitment I can say I've kept to myself is not giving up.  I spent years in denial of my problems, and years more failing to understand them, but I have persevered.  Now I have a huge mountain to climb, but I feel so full of hope knowing it's the right mountain.  Isn't that so much better than being lost and wandering aimlessly in the wilderness? :hug:

Armee, thank you for your support.  I agree completely with what you said about emotions needing their voice.  I am imagining a continuum where on one extreme our emotions are silenced, and on the other, they are all-consuming.  I believe the right approach is to strike a balance between the two... allowing myself to feel what I feel, while retaining my sense of agency.  I also appreciate you sharing the bit about doing yoga nidra with your child.  That must be so fulfilling and nurturing for you both... an incredible gift.

Hope, thank you for your kindness and for sending a hug.  Part of the reason I feel more comfortable sitting with my feelings is from reading your journal, and learning about how you sit with yours.  You have had a positive influence on me. :hug:


I had another good day today.  Feeling inspired and optimistic.  A familiar internal voice has emerged in response, its tone bitter and sarcastic.

Don't get your hopes up.
You know you can't maintain this.  Sooner or later it will all come crashing down.

I hear you, critic.  You are not very nice, but I know you're just trying to spare us from more pain and suffering.  The truth is, though, that I can maintain this.  It's just going to require a lot of courage, wisdom, and hard work.  And I am okay with that.

I am listening to a series of podcasts about sleep and regulating circadian rhythms.  I have always had a difficult time falling asleep and waking up on a normal schedule, which upsets my moods and is highly detrimental to my wellness.  But this explains how to fix it, using tools derived from biology and scientific research.  I am looking forward to putting them in action so that I can hopefully get myself back on a more desirable cadence.

I also did my first yoga nidra exercise today, and loved it!  I think I have developed a mild level of proficiency at putting my mind into a relaxed state, due to experimenting with yoga and meditation off and on over the past year.  As the meditation moved through my body, I imagined each part being cleansed with a healing ball of light.  I was able to relax to an extent that my body almost felt like it was floating.  I feel like I have discovered a powerful tool that will only get more useful with continued practice.

Wishing you all the best for today and every day. :hug:
Pluto, first off I just want to say that I really admire your perspective and what a kind and compassionate heart you have.  I can sense that you love your parents very much, which must have only deepened the pain you felt and are still feeling from their abuse.

Everyone's story is unique, but just so you know I have also had issues with my parents.  When I was 11 years old, my family disintegrated.  My mother essentially abandoned me, and my father subjected me to coercive control, beratement, manipulation, gaslighting, and many other forms of emotional abuse.

These were all things that happened 15 to 20 years ago, so I've had a lot of time to think about them.  And over time, to come to terms with them in ways that I believe to be true.  Keep in mind that it's still an ongoing process, and I am in no way trying to imply that I have it all figured out.  So feel free to reject any part of this that doesn't feel right for you.

Here goes:

- The only person who gets to decide the reality and severity of your trauma is you.  Not your abusers, not your family, not your doctor, not your T, not anyone.  You are the one who gets to say.  If you are in pain and distress over what happened to you, then your trauma is real and it is exactly as bad as you perceive it to be.

- You are allowed to feel whatever emotions that come up in response to your trauma.  It's okay to be angry.  It's okay to be devastated.  It's okay to feel like you can't trust people.  You don't have to apologize or suppress or be ashamed of anything that you feel.

- Children are never at fault.  Don't ever entertain the idea that you did anything to bring the abuse on yourself, or that you should've done something to stop it.  You were just a child, an innocent and defenseless soul that deserved to be loved, protected, and cherished.

- There is no excuse for parents abusing their children.  It really doesn't matter what their issues were, how hard their lives were, or what they may have been going through at the time.  They had an obligation to provide a happy and safe childhood for you, and they failed.  It's okay to feel empathy and compassion toward their struggles, but that doesn't excuse the abuse they inflicted on you.

- Getting your parents to hold themselves accountable for abusing you can be meaningful, but you don't need it in order to heal.  Even all these years later, neither of my parents has ever apologized or taken ownership of their actions.  I wish they would, but I recognize and accept that it's beyond my control.  Fortunately, you can still forgive people and find your own sense of closure, even if they are unrepentant. 

- Child abuse doesn't necessarily stop once you become an adult.  Our parents often continue to hurt us even after we are grown.  If that's the case for you, you have the right to confront them about it, to set boundaries, or to go no contact.  You have the right to take care of yourself and do what's right for you regardless of how they feel about it.

Okay, that was a lot.  Maybe too much... I apologize if so.  And again I just want to reiterate, I'm not trying to speak to you in any kind of authoritative posture here.  These are just things that have been helpful for me, and I hope they can be for you as well.
Recovery Journals / Re: zanzoken's journal
August 03, 2021, 07:51:03 AM
Armee, it makes me feel good to know that I helped inspire you to do yoga!  I hope it went well.  I am experimenting with it too and recently heard about a form called "yoga nidra" that I want to try.

Libby, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with EMDR.  I recently started doing EMDR therapy myself and I'm struggling a bit with the fact that I don't understand how it works.  I am glad to hear it was beneficial for you though.

Alter-eg0, I like your analogy about the puzzle pieces.  I recall reading about how traumatic memories are stored differently in our brains, although I feel as though I have more to learn in that area before I've fully grasped it.


How do I feel today?  Pretty good, actually.  My circumstances haven't changed, but something is changing in me because I am finding the strength to fight for control over my life again.

I listened to a podcast today about how our nervous system works, and it validated a lot of conclusions that I had already reached on my own.  Our brains are shaped by experience, and if our experiences are traumatic, then our brain will develop in certain ways in response (many of them damaging).

It may sound trivial, but it's taken me 15 years to get here.  To get to where I am at least beginning to understand what is wrong and why I am the way I am. 

TW:  Powerful emotions (anger most of all)

A lot of intense emotions stirring now. 
Sadness at years of my life lost to suffering. 
Anger, white hot boiling anger, at the people who do this to me. 
Sadness again, wondering how much better off I would be in life if it had never happened.
Acceptance is the key.  I can still have everything I have ever wanted.  Just need to continue this work.  Healing is possible.
Emotions firing back up again.  Need time to cycle through.

I need to go now.  This has been good though.  I wish with all my heart that you are all well today, and every day.  :hug:
Recovery Journals / Re: Choosing Hea1thy Daily Journal
August 02, 2021, 06:04:33 AM

I hope it's okay for me to leave a comment.  I'm all caught up on your journal and I just want to say that I feel so much admiration for the courage and wisdom that you show in your life and in your writing.  Your words are very evocative... in almost every update I find things that feel meaningful, that I'd like to sit with and process some more.

On a bit of a lighter note, I also enjoy when you write about your sewing and weaving.  It feels to me like those bring you a lot of joy and satisfaction, and I find it pleasant and soothing to read.

There was something you wrote a while back that I thought was very beautiful, and resonated with me a lot.

Quote from: BeeKeeper on July 04, 2021, 03:37:20 PM
All in all, I'm dedicated to saving the parts of myself which can be used to build on. I'm learning to let go of those parts which continue to take me to places of rejection. In every story there are small pieces that can be extracted and used for beauty. When I woke up today and started to think about my current record pursuit, I had an artistic vision of a weaving. For those that don't know, fabric is made up of vertical strands called a warp and horizontal stands called weft. The warp is the foundation. I saw my life narrative as reworking the warp and even replacing some so there's not a concentration of weak fibers (or dark, colorless ugliness). Naturally, this is time consuming and inevitably will take me the rest of my life. That's perfectly fine. Slow, steady, with compassion and acceptance, I'll continue.

I feel like this really describes where I am right now in my recovery.  I am trying to find more words but they aren't coming, so that's all I will say about that for now.

Last thing is, I'd like to offer you a hug, if that is something that feels safe and comforting to you.  I hope you are well today, and every day.  :hug:
Hello Pluto, welcome to the forum.  :heythere:  I'm so sorry to hear about the abuse you've experienced throughout your life.  I like what you said about there being "strength in community"... rest assured that this is a safe place where people just want to help and support each other.

Receiving a CPTSD diagnosis and beginning to learn about relational and complex trauma is such an important step, so it feels hopeful to me that you've reached that point. 

Once again, welcome, and I wish you all the best in your continued healing and recovery.  :grouphug:
Welcome to the forum, Lonelytourist.  :wave: (and Gomez Caddams!)

I'm sorry to hear about the struggles you've been through, but I'm glad you're here with us.  This is a safe place full of people who understand and want to support each other.  Wishing you all the best in your continued recovery.
Recovery Journals / Re: zanzoken's journal
July 29, 2021, 04:23:05 AM
Hope, thank you for your support.  I accept your hug and send you one back in return.  :hug:  I hope you are well today.

Armee, thank you once again for your continued kindness.  I did a small yoga exercise today and I thought of you.  I hope you are well today.  :hug:

I am putting your names in green because it is my favorite color.


I realize it has been almost a week since I last journaled.  I suppose now is the first time I've felt I had the emotional space to do so.

I did therapy yesterday and I talked with my T some more about the origins of my trauma story.  This is my first time in many years telling it to someone new, and I feel it has given me a renewed understanding of how bad what I went through must have been.  My T seemed genuinely sad to hear the story, which makes me feel like it's okay to feel sad about it too.  My heart hurts for the child version of myself, who at 11 years old had so much taken away.

I keep seeing the word "integration" pop up in various places.  The book I'm reading says integrating trauma is a key aspect of healing.  The research I'm doing on psychedelic medicine also emphasizes that integrating what we learn on psychedelic journeys is a vital part of the experience.  I like this word and want to continue exploring what it means.
Welcome to the forum, Witness.  I think you'll find this community is a safe place full of people who just want to help support each other in recovery from RT and CPTSD.

It sounds like you've found a lot of clarity with regards to how your FOO has mistreated you.  That feels hopeful to me, and I hope it does to you too.   I wish you all the best as you continue along on this journey.
Successes, Progress? / Re: Accountability Thread?
July 24, 2021, 02:07:00 AM
Nice going Armee!  Proud of you.  :cheer:

The benefits may not be apparent right away but just the fact that you did it is a huge victory in and of itself.
Successes, Progress? / Re: Accountability Thread?
July 22, 2021, 08:38:13 PM
Good luck Armee, you can do this  :thumbup:

Also want to say thank you to Rainydiary for posting so much helpful information.
Recovery Journals / Re: zanzoken's journal
July 22, 2021, 03:15:05 AM
Yesterday ended up being one of the rougher days I've had in a long time.  Thankfully today I feel better.

I happened to speak with a few former colleagues from my old career over the last couple of days, and those conversations were affirming.  None of them are people I would consider close friends, but when I shared that I was dealing with mental health issues they were all very kind and sympathetic.  It helped relieve some of the anxiety I feel about being out of work. 

I have a fear that even if I am able to heal from my trauma and become well enough to return to my career, that no one will want me.  Part of me feels shame at the time I've spent not working, but then another part sees it as an opportunity to create a comeback story that could inspire people and raise awareness about RT and CPTSD.  I have a long way to go before I get there, though. 

Thinking about that reminds me that I want to be mindful about how much time I allow myself to spend thinking about the future (or the past).  It's very easy for me to drift off and not be present in the here and now, and that's something I'd like to start to change.
Recovery Journals / Re: zanzoken's journal
July 22, 2021, 02:38:31 AM
Thank you, BeeKeeper.  I appreciate the kind words and I will think about what you've said.  :hug:

I wanted you to know that I just read your journal for the first time and it's made such a positive impact on me today.  The way you write feels very natural and free and feels soothing to me to read.  I've had a highly stressful day today but getting to know you a bit through your writing has helped calm me down.

I am inspired by how in tune you are with your Self and your parts, and how you are able to identify your emotions, or pains in certain areas of your body.  I also think you show tremendous courage in how you listen to your parts and choose to sit with your feelings, even when they are uncomfortable.

Finally, there was something in particular you wrote that I wanted to mention.

Quote from: Hope67 on June 10, 2021, 09:35:33 AMAnyway, something that helped me in the night was imagining that we are all boats in a sea, and that when one of us gets into difficulties, that the other boats around us can see our distress, and they send out help in the form of an anchor, or they change position to shield the struggling boat from harm.  I imagined that all of us here in Out of the Storm were in those boats, and helping one another.  It was just something that helped me at a certain point in the night.

I just wanted to say that I thought this was a very beautiful analogy, and it made me feel comforted and safe in being part of this community.

Anyway, I hope you are well today.  Here is a hug, if that's something that feels safe and affirming for you.  :hug:
Successes, Progress? / Re: Accountability Thread?
July 21, 2021, 03:37:34 AM
Sorry to hear that you're struggling with this, Armee. 

I don't have much experience with yoga but I would be happy to keep an eye on this thread and help offer the support you're looking for.  :hug: