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What do you think about this girl I met?
March 23, 2006
1:21 pm
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kathygy
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guest,

I also had huge concerns with the 12-steps. I shared at every meeting how I honestly felt about the steps and the reference to God. No one got tense. People did come up to me after the meeting to talk to me about my issues with the 12-steps and 'God'.

I kept going and sharing my complete truth. Eventually I came to a place where I took only from the meetings what was helpful to me.

I urge you to share ALL of your feelings and concerns about the 12-steps and references to God.

It is a safe place to speak your truth. Don't worry about how people will react.

That's one of the many things I got out of the 12-steps, feeling safe expressing my truth.

I used to shared over and over again about how much I did not like the use of GOD in the 12-steps.

It was perfectly O.K. to do that. I questioned the program and continued to share about that for a long time.

I finally came to the place where when I hear the word 'God' I replaced it with my own belief system.

Over the years I found that I healed and grew enormously even though I don't agree with everything about the program and the 12-steps.

The support and validation I got from the meetings helped me learn to love myself.

There is an expression in the program that says 'let us love you until you can love yourself'. It really worked for me.

I also made friends with a lot of people who were/are very loving and supportive on me and very safe to talk to.

Also, I it helped me a lot to feel connected to other people and not alone in the world.

For step 2 "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity " . The "power greater than ourselves" was always the group at the meetings. Attending meetings and sharing my truth always helped restore me to saniety.

You can always use the group as your higher power, a lot of people do.

Attending meetings over time healed my negative self-image from high school that I thought I was stuck with for life.

It also healed my fear that no one is interested in what I have to say. In fact, people loved my sharings because I was completely honest and genuine.

I didn't know I had a sense to humor before attending meeting but I found out I do by my sharing.

People would laugh and I loved that. People would come up to me after the meeting and tell me how much they love my sense of humot and get so much out of my sharing. I often felt like movie star by the way people responded to me.

This was VERY healing for me and helped me learn to love and value myself.

What I am saying is that you can attend 12-step meetings and ignore the 12-steps and get enormous growth and healing from the support of others and from interacting with people who care about you just the way you are.

The group was the healing factor for me not the steps.

I attended coda for awhile but my main meetings were the adult children of alcoholic meetings. You don't have to have a parent with alcoholism but just abusive or otherwise dysfuntional home environment growing up to attend the meetings.

There is a book about the 12-steps that re-writes them in a way much more empowering and self-nurturing way. I agreed with a lot of what the author said but I don't know any groups that use the 12-steps differently.

love,
kathy

March 23, 2006
3:16 pm
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Thanks kathy for sharing all that. for how long did you attend these meetings?

feeling real bad, real in the dumps cause of lack of sleep. Very low.

March 23, 2006
7:08 pm
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On the 14-Mar-06:

You quoted me as saying:

>> I found long ago that if you focus on her needs and not yourself things will go fine. < < Then you asked: "Isnt it all about being experts on meeting our own needs first and only THEN being able to focus on other people's needs?" It isn't a simple case of 'either/or' but one of 'both/and'. In the context that my statement was made, you were wanting to 'be yourself' in a woman's company. To meet this need you would have to feel relaxed and secure, not anxious that the date wasn't going well. To meet this need, one way is to meet your girlfriend's needs for feeling that you are interested in her life. So in meeting her needs you are automatically meeting your own at the same time - thus 'both/and'. And you said: "focusing on other people's needs, that will be co-dependence." Everything in this universe is co-dependent in some way. It is only a question of degree. And you said: "Were you an expert on meeting your own needs when you found out what you found out? ..." I have never claimed to be an "expert" at anything. When did you think that I claim to be??? If you have a bee in your bonnet over something about which I am blissfully unaware please come to the point.

March 23, 2006
9:24 pm
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Thanks Tez. ofcourse I dont have any bee. I got a little sad to know that you asked me that. But its alright.

I wanted to know while you were meeting those 3 ladies, what was your general level of mental health, with respect to self-esteem and co-dependence?

I've never asked you about your life too. What has been the level of mental health for you all these years? How was your parenting? I'm interested in knowing how life has been for you. I know you said you were a raging 'something' (I forgot the exact word). Did you discover at a certain age that you had to work on yourself, and if so, what did you start doing? And what do you do nowdays?

I'm looking for both positive and negative things i.e. all the significant things in your life. I want to see if I can learn from it myself. Are you gonna say "bah, not bothered to tell all that", but I'll be interested to know all you have to say.

Any links for good meditations that boost our self-image and help us focus on ourselves positively?

March 24, 2006
9:35 am
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Feeling a littleeee better today because I'm not that drowsy. I think its proof that I'm ok if I have my sleep. I also wrote her a nice email, wanted to talk since it had been so long. Anyway, I need my sleep and need to feel good on my own which is the more important thing.

March 24, 2006
1:57 pm
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guest,

That's great that you are watching John Bradshaw's videos. I've never had everything sink in the first time around.

I have found that the only things that sink in are the things I am ready to hear.

As I said, I worked on the book "homecoming..." twice with two different groups and also started re-reading the book. I find that I am letting more in everytime and learning something new everytime I go through the book.

I attended 12-step meetings for over 20 years uninterrupted. And still in the end applied the steps only as I saw fit for me.

I do beleive in a higher power that has nothing to do with religion. Rather a spirit or energy field from the universe that can help me and cares about me.

I created this higher power by using images that come into my mind about what my higher power would look like and imaging that it exists to love me and guide me.

If you don't believe in a higher power you might try just imaging that one exists for you and how that would feel.

"in order to have big changes in life, we have to make big initiatives. What else should I do?

What else can I do for my healing? I want to do all I can."

I think you know the answer to that. I think you know what the biggest initiative is for you. But you are unwilling to do that.

This makes me wonder if you trully want to do ALL you can.

It is not possible for you to heal and love yourself as long as you are invested in that woman because by being invested in this woman you are abandoning your inner child and sending yourself negatives messages about your self worth and what you deserve to have in life.

You need to choose between this woman and your inner child. Right now you choose the woman.

You are ignoring your inner child and how much he hurts.

March 24, 2006
3:28 pm
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How about this, my higher is a spirit of the perfect version of me, if I had been parented in the healthiest way possible. Hmm.

Sometimes I choose her and sometimes me. Its painful to me, I know.

I feel peaceful if I believe that I'm just another whim of hers. That relaxes the situation because I know she's wrong.

What a mess! I cant stop myself thinking about her every now and then. Its a problem alright.

I'm going to watch part of the video on Sunday with the same friends.

March 24, 2006
6:40 pm
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I'm thinking about my higher power being the healthy me, the loving patient, healthy ME, the spirit that is there but was squished. Its there. The concept trying to sink in slowly.

BELIEF is the key. If I believe its there, it is. I really have to believe. interesting.

March 24, 2006
7:38 pm
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Kathy, this is just for you! I've always thought politeness and all that wastes time. Honesty SAVES times. I'm glad I think on those lines because really, being honest and straightforward and clean is very efficient. I think my own honesty to myself saves me time in my self-dialogue too although thats an interesting and debateable point.

Maybe one can be diplomatic outside, but honest inside, but I dont see how that can work. We gotta be honest all the time if its to work. Hmm, interesting.

March 25, 2006
7:23 pm
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On the 23-Mar-06 you asked:

"I wanted to know while you were meeting those 3 ladies, what was your general level of mental health, with respect to self-esteem and co-dependence?"

This is a very difficult question to answer on several accounts. Most of all it is difficult to answer simply.

Self-esteem is not a constant. Self-esteem is a value judgment made by me regarding as assessment of an estimation that I pass about my self worth in a given environment. At work my self-esteem was very high. Within hours that self-esteem would plummet if I got a dose of real or imagined rejection from the first of the three ladies that you mentioned.

Was I codependent with this first lady? I sure was! However this was in 1986 and I knew very little about 'inner child' theories at that stage. After a rollercoaster ride for 18mths I reached a 'rock bottom' far deeper than the one reached in alcoholism in January 1973.

Although I had by 1986 been a member for 13 years, AA with all its wonderful steps and philosophies held no answer for me in regard to this new kind of 'addiction' to a human being!!

I engaged the services of 2 different psychotherapists. Whilst they helped me gain certain insights they didn't ultimately have an answer. I did a degree at my states most prestigious university majoring in Psychology. This didn't provide the answers either. However it gave me the basic keys that opened several doors. A book called 'Intimate Strangers' by Dr. Halpin gave me further precious insights. At that stage I think John Bradshaw was just coming onto the scene. I read his stuff with great interest. Bradshaw was but one of many influences. I became obsessed with Dr. Janoff's Primal Therapy for a while. I bounced from one Theoretical School of Therapy to another, each time thinking that I had found the 'Holy Grail'. Using myself as my laboratory, with lots of meditation, reflection and contemplations, I set about discovering my own mind. What a journey that has been.

I met my present partner in 1987 and became an item in that year.

A couple of years later 'Lady two' came on the scene. By this time I was very conscious of the ramifications. Thus I ran a mile and didn't get involved at all! No other 'template' surfaced for many years until 2001. Meanwhile in 1999, I bought my present home on an acre and a third of land and moved in with my longstanding partner of 12 years by then. All went well until 2002 when 'Lady 3' surfaced. I felt powerfully attracted to #3 but resisted all her flirting and overtures for 2 years. However, unconsciously, I was becoming more and more dissatisfied with my longstanding relationship. By the beginning of 2004 my longstanding relationship collapsed and we sadly but amicably parted ways. As soon as I was 'on the loose' #3 came in for the kill. I went through hell on earth for about 4 months. However this time I had all the 'tools' that I needed already in place. With surgical precision I severed this highly 'codep' relationship and went 'cold turkey'. I knew the ropes well and truly. I went through intense pain but I knew exactly where the pain was coming from and what to do about it. I recovered quickly from #3 in about 5 months. It took over 10 years to get over #1. #2 didn't even get to first base. But by 2004 I had been through both formal and informal studies, the university of hard knocks and had solid theoretical and practical experience with both helping myself, my sister and many others over hurdles of this exact nature.

By 2004 my sister whom I had helped had become a practicing therapist with quite a reputation. There is presently a six months waiting list to get to see her. It was quite a unique experience in 2004 to have my sister firing at me my own words of many years before in helping me over the hurdle of #3. However much one knows or doesn't know, when the 'inner child' gains control and the thinking self becomes subservient to meeting the 'inner child's' desires, all rationality flies out the window. One becomes one's feelings and wallows in a deep hole of dispair. By September 2004 I saw the sun shining, heard the birds singing and gained my freedom once again. I decided to go to my longstanding partner and see if she would come back to me. As #3 and her were mortal enemies, I held little hope. To my surprise and delight she hesitantly said 'yes'. The conditions were that I had no contact whatsoever with #3. Of course, I had already made that agreement with myself out of dire necessity so that part was dead easy. Despite #3's best efforts to get me back, I have treated #3 as a 'persona non-grata' with great success to date. Today in March 2006, I am very happy most of the time in my old longstanding relationship of 19 years minus about an 8 months break when I was with and getting over #3.

Then you asked:

" What has been the level of mental health for you all these years? How was your parenting? I'm interested in knowing how life has been for you. I know you said you were a raging 'something' (I forgot the exact word)."

My life has been very multidimensional. My parenting was up to shit bonza. My childhood and adolescence very turbulent to say the least. I missed doing a long stretch in jail by a cats whisker. I could easily write a book on it all. But then no one would wade through that much shit.

And you asked:

" Did you discover at a certain age that you had to work on yourself, and if so, what did you start doing? And what do you do nowdays?"

Phew!!!

You sure don't ask simple questions do you!

In January 1973, at 30 years of age in a deep and final 'rockbottom' of my alcoholism, I realized that my whole view of life was screwed up and that I was heading for the insane assylum, and early grave or life long imprisonment for some horrendous crime committed while I was blind drunk.

In a moment sometimes called a 'spiritual awakening' I had a clear vision of how things 'really were' and I decided to get to AA. I have been a sober member of AA ever since Jan 1973. However in Bill Wilson's own words AA is a 'spiritual kindergarten'. He further said that AA is horribly embarrassed when alchies use AA as a religion. I used the 12 steps of AA for a great many years until they became so ingrained that today I don't think much about them. I guess that as falteringly as I do, I just live them. However, when it comes to a Higher Power, I don't have some Christian God sitting up there pulling strings when it suits Him.

In AA the Higher Power is one's own choice. I don't attend meetings that are dominated by evangelizing Christians. Thankfully, not many of them seem to exist in my experiences. I owe AA a debt of gratitude. No other organization could have got me sober - of that I am sure.

You said:

"I'm looking for both positive and negative things i.e. all the significant things in your life. I want to see if I can learn from it myself."

There is just too much to regurgitate here. Becoming a Bramha Kumaris Raj Yogi in 1983 was a turning point in my life. It freed me from the chains of 'Christianity'. This sect of the Hindi religious beliefs system showed me how to do AA's step 11. They helped me to turn within and how to become the observer of my own mind. But unfortunately I could no more believe their doctrines than those of the RC religion or other Christian sects that I had encountered. I left them. But I am grateful for their contributions to my life.

I have found Buddhism another turning point. Again, I am somewhat reluctant to dive in and become a gungho Buddhist. I fear the social pressures to 'conform'. I doubt that these pressures are consciously applied. However, in all religions they seem to exist. It is like religions all seem to demand that you fundamentally agree with their doctrines unconditionally or they get pissed off with you. Buddhists seem to be the least this way orientated. But nevertheless I still feel this pressure. I love their literature and enjoy many hours reading it and putting it into practice in my life where I can, if I can and when I can. I am certainly not a good advertisement for Buddhism by any stretch of the imagination.

And you said:

" Are you gonna say "bah, not bothered to tell all that", but I'll be interested to know all you have to say."

Well ... in this lengthy post I have told you only a very little fraction of my life. I've been married, had 4 children, the youngest being 33 is probably older than you are now, I suspect.

Because of my post, I'll probably be accused of either waffling, not speaking from the heart, of being to this of too that! But what the hell - I'm not here to please people.

And you asked:

"Any links for good meditations that boost our self-image and help us focus on ourselves positively?"

I don't know how to answer this question. If I were in your shoes I would seek out a Buddhist Centre near you. If they want to charge you money, give them a wide berth. I prefer Mahayana Buddhism rather than Theravada Buddhism, but that is only my preference. I prefer Chinese Ch'an Buddhism to Japanese Zen Buddhism but again that is only my personal preference. Tibetan Buddhism isn't half bad either. I just don't like the influence that the old Bon religion has had on Tibetan Buddhism. I found that it helps to slice through the cultural influences and to get to the core of what the Buddha taught.

In case you think I am talking about hairy fairy beliefs, I must stress that going into the 'self image' is an elementary part of what buddhism is about.

One's self image is a mind construct that changes over time and situations.

One's self-image is a multidimensional image about how you see yourself to be.

If you also have an image of how you think you ought to be and you compare the two unfavorably, then your self-esteem will probably take a dive. On the other hand if your self-image exceeds that of your reference image of how you think you should be, then your self esteem will probably soar.

So here you have at least two variables in this model; your self-image and your reference image, both affecting your self-esteem. I believe that this is why glossy photos of slim models can trigger off so much low self-esteem in some women. They take on a reference image of how they think that they should look from catwalk mags. When they compare themselves in the mirror of their minds, self-esteem plummets. Of course some women 'see through this' and value themselves for other attributes besides their appearances.

But before the mind can control these thought processes it first must know how to look within and see what's there in a non-judgmental way with as much wisdom and compassion as it can muster.

This isn't easy! Learning to meditate , that is, being taught how to do so by a reputable teacher, is a big help in this regard.

"When the pupil is ready the master will appear". I am sure that there are many "masters" in the area in which you live and in your life in general. Maybe you just don't recognize them as such, but that's just how it is. That doesn't mean that you miss out on the 'lessons'. All of life is one huge 'lesson' with no one to judge us except 'ourselves' at 'examination' time. If that's to airy fairy for you then I'm sorry - but I believe it to be true nonetheless.

"Therefore to thine own self be true" - W.S.

March 26, 2006
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Tez, that was a real cool post, thanks! Everyone on this site who knows you and each other should know what we've gone through, what we did to make ourselves better.

>> I went through intense pain but I knew exactly where the pain was coming from and what to do about it. < < What was this pain and where was it coming from, and what did you do to calm yourself down? She was just too physically sexy and "cooing", was she not? Maybe like the same thing as you think is with me and this girl, right? An addiction to the human being, as you say. Losing ourselves, while wanting the woman - so this is coD. Lately with that girl, I showed her some of my depressive and co-depdedent side and I feel she's drifted away for good since irrepairable damage has been done. Deep inside I think I cant be strong enough for her, so there, its the monster of low self-esteem. I'm glad you were feeling attracted to these women at your age. Sometimes I think my age is all I'll have, the "youth". Its good to know I can feel all this later on too - it just depends on my mental health. I'm glad you got a relationship of 19 years and are happy. That shows good mental health. Hmmmm. But then you did have some problem with #3. What would your response have been to #3's episode, if you had not done all the mental health research/work you did? I emailed one of the Bhuddism guys in our city to see if they have meetings. I want to become an observer of my mind! Especially when I'm having those sexual fantasies. I really want see all those beautiful ladies in my mind! lol. J/k. I really do. I want to see myself living on Earth. I want to be outside the Earth somewhere in the Universe- looking at my life. How short it is. I want to understand that one day I'll be gone. I cant even express, but I want to be able to see myself and understand my whole life "as if I've lived it already". You know what I mean? I want to do all this, so I can relax and live my life in the most calm peaceful way, without being a slave to destructive emotions. And live the best life I could. I dont want to live "blindly". It would be such a loss if I did. It should be, as if I was an observer and I saw my life lived and felt pleasure by looking at how I had lived, instead of sadness and regret. Meditation deserves its onw thread, what say you? I would like to know your experiences with meditations, or if you dont feel like sharing, any links you think are good?

March 26, 2006
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Guest_guest.

On 26-Mar-06 you asked:

"What was this pain and where was it coming from, ..."

The pain was the retriggering of the emotional memories of being rejected and abandoned by my mother (and father) that I experienced as an infant. The trigger source was the manipulating rejection by lady #1 by her withdrawing her 'love' in order to punish me for some trivial misdemeanor. Since #1 was a powerful psychological and physical 'replica' of 'mom' she had that power to trigger of these emotions in me. Other women no matter how beautiful etc lacked these attributes.

"and what did you do to calm yourself down?"

Nothing - at that stage (1986) I wasin ignorance of what was causing my problem. I thought that it was she who had all the problems. Like you, I sought to "fix" her not fully realizing the extent of my emotional problems. I nearly went bananas!! Cookoo! Fruitcake! I couldn't function at all.

" She was just too physically sexy and "cooing", was she not?"

"Sexiness" is in the eye of the beholder. This fatal attraction had little or nothing to do with sexual needs. However, I learnt a lot about how sexual and security needs are so inextricablly intertwined in people like me carrying this emotional 'baggage'.

"Maybe like the same thing as you think is with me and this girl, right?"

I strongly suspect this is the case - but time will tell all.

"An addiction to the human being, as you say. Losing ourselves, while wanting the woman - so this is coD."

In my opinion codependency is when both partners are triggering off these past emotional memories in each other in a way that bring both ecstacy and agony at different times(push/pull). Unfortunately for people like me with dysfunctional childhoods, in codep relationships the ecstacy decreases and the agony increases over time - that is my experience in the 2 of the 3 ladies. Remember #2 I had nothing to do with. Chasing that lost 'ecstacy' keeps codeps locked in until the pain becomes intolerable. My present long term relationship is not codependent. My partner is not a template of my mother nor anything like her. The ecstacy is not there but then neither is the agony. In regard to my present partner, the strength of the affection - as opposed to ecstacy - far outweighs any supposed loss that I might feel from time to time. Its a case of real love versus a sick emotional illness masquerading as romantic love.

"I'm glad you were feeling attracted to these women at your age."

Thank you ... I think. Do you not know that people in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s fall in love and act like teenagers? My grandfather sired his last child when he was 62. I'm sure that his love life went on for many more years after that. Ballroom dancers in my age bracket and older are changing partner just as frequently as many younger people. To 13 year olds you are an old fart at your age. It is all relative, bro.

"But then you did have some problem with #3."

Yes as I would have with #4 if she were to appear and I was stupid enough to come into anything with her.

" What would your response have been to #3's episode, if you had not done all the mental health research/work you did?"

I imagine that I would have responded exactly as I did with #1.

In my opinion, emotional memories don't diminish over time only our response to their eruption can change with knowledge, insights, realizations and commitment to changing our beliefs and understandings. Meditation is a powerful tool in bringing about these changes.

"I want to do all this, so I can relax and live my life in the most calm peaceful way, without being a slave to destructive emotions. And live the best life I could. I dont want to live "blindly". It would be such a loss if I did."

This is an admirable want. Remember, you can't put an old head on young shoulders. You must 'walk the walk' one step at a time.

Sure ... you can read about and learn from the experiences of others. But ultimately you must live your own life in as authentic a way as you can. Fear in all its subtle disguises is what makes this task difficult. One day at a time you can choose to live each moment with as much 'copresence' as possible. When to some extent we dwell in either the past or the future we distort and diminish the present experiences to that same extent.

Meditation involves concentration; concentration on the present whether it be concentrating on the pain in the arse when meditatng on the taste or feeling of the hot coffee that we are drinking. When people say wake up and smell the roses this is what they mean; "Be here now" - its all very zen.

"Meditation deserves its onw thread, what say you?"

There was a meditation thread here once and it died. There's more to it than meets the eye. It is a complete package. See your local Buddhist temple(a reputable one that is - not some scam merchants wanting your brass) and they will show you the way.

My meditation experiences, no matter how cleverly recounted, will be nothing more than a very bad misrepresentation of what I actually experienced.

March 27, 2006
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Hi Tez,

>> The pain was the retriggering of the emotional memories of being rejected and abandoned by my mother (and father) that I experienced as an infant. < < I remember you mentioning this long ago (the concept of us being abandoned in infancy). Whats this abandonement you talk of ? Is it something specific only to your case, or it happens to every infant? If only to yours: 1) I'd like to know details. Like, they left you crying alone etc? 2) Since you were just an infant, how do you remember you were abandoned? >> In my opinion, emotional memories don't diminish over time only our response to their eruption can change with knowledge, insights, realizations and commitment to changing our beliefs and understandings. Meditation is a powerful tool in bringing about these changes. < < I cant wait to get started on meditation. I know, I have to be patient. >> But ultimately you must live your own life in as authentic a way as you can. < < I try to, I'm honest to myself and to others. I hate lying. But the problem is maybe, I ignore my needs and feelings, you know - the usual dysfunctional family backbround. I'm willing though to work hard. I'll try to find that old meditation thread, hopefully it has "meditation" in the title. This is my diary portion of the post, just wanted to write how I'm doing: Right now I'm feeling a little calm and peaceful. Maybe its because I'm rested. I dont know if its because I'm numbing and being blind to my emotions, or if its becuase I'm "shushing" the emotional storms and keeping them down.

March 30, 2006
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On 27-Mar-06 you said:

"Whats this abandonement you talk of ?"

Evolution has programmed infants to respond to their emotional arousals by crying in order to get their mother's attention. When frightened, infants are programmed to clutch at their mothers. There is much much more that they are programmed to do. When the mother doesn't respond for whatever reason, the child experiences great fear. This fear has been labled the fear of abandonment.

"Is it something specific only to your case, or it happens to every infant?"

Across the whole of humanity, there is a broad spectrum of experiences that infants have. To the degree to which we are 'well parented' to that degree will we experience fear of abandonment as an infant. Some well parented adults have little or no fear of abandonment. Others like me who were not well parented as an infant, knew great fear of abandonment as a child.

This great fear of abandonment, this very negative emotional response that we had in infancy, conditions an emotional response(memory) into the amygdala, the emotional centre. This SAME emotion can easily be retriggered putting us adults into EXACTLY the same emotional experience in adulthood.

"If only to yours: 1) I'd like to know details. Like, they left you crying alone etc?"

Obviously I am only one amongst millions of cases. In my case, my mother, like many others, believed in regular periodic feeding NOT feeding upon demand. She believed that babies should be left to cry in the dark. She believed that attending to a crying baby spoilt them leading to a more demanding crying behavior. She had absolutely no understanding of the terror in the infant mind when feeling abandoned!! My mother was a very poor nurturer.

In the first week of my life I was tongue tied and unable to suckle at all. I cried continuously for the week. I knew the absolute terror of abandonment.

"Since you were just an infant, how do you remember you were abandoned?"

I don't. I was told about the CONTEXT of these happenings in later life by my mother, father, aunties, uncles etc.

But to answer your question more fully I must first get you to recognize the difference between CONTEXTUAL memory and EMOTIONAL memory. I do not remember anything of my infancy CONTEXTUALLY. This means that I have no images, no words, no scripts etc that I can recall of my earliest experiences as an infant. The furtherest that I can remember back contextually is to when I was 4 years old.

However emotional memories were powerfully formed in infancy that last for life. When these early memories are triggered off and recalled now, I become aware of feelings of terror and fear. There is no ASSOCIATED contextual memory recalled at the same time to tell me what in the past happened to me that made me feel this way. So I erroneously try to seek a cause for my feelings in the present. Thus I blamed #1 for causing my intense feelings rather than recognizing her as only being a trigger source for my recall of an EMOTIONAL memory(without any associated contextual memory).

To understand what I am saying a little better, consider the Vietnam Veteran. His mate's head gets blown off his shoulders splattering brains all over the Vet. Just as this happens a chopper flies overhead. The sound of the chopper, the images of the horror - that is, the CONTEXT - is programmed into contextual memory of the Vet. At the same time the Vet is feeling terrible fear. This fear programs TRIGGERS into the amygdala, the source of EMOTIONAL MEMORIES, in the form of the sound of a chopper, smells, sights etc.

Back in civvy street our Vet hears a news chopper fly over. Suddenly he has a panic attack. His emotions erupt just as they did in country. However, he is able to recall the CONTEXT of his experiences in Nam as well. So he soothes himself down by telling himself that he is safe now and everything's OK.

But what would the Vet do if he couldn't remember his Vietnam experiences??? He'd be locked into the horrible feelings without a way out. This is how we feel when we cannot recall the CONTEXT for our feelings of childhood abandonment when retriggered in adulthood. We feel terrible and mistake the terrible cravings and pain of rejection as 'love' for our 'cutie pie'. I wrongly attributed the causes of my feelings to #1, #2, or #3 until I wised up and saw where they were really coming from.

Does that help? It isn't easy to see these things!!! Many learned academics who have been well parented have no way of personally relating to this. They acknowledge on an intellectual level what I am saying without the emotional experiences in childhood to back it up. There are many notable exceptions of course. Bowlby, Main, Ainsworth, Bradshaw, Bierne etc just to name a few such exceptions - I suspect(but don't really know).

April 2, 2006
1:49 pm
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Tez,

I understand this fear of abandonement now and it makes sense to ne now. First when you'd talk of it a long time ago, I wouldnt believe it because I thought we possibly couldnt remember anything as infants, but you make sense, we could very well remember the distressed feelings etc - and they can come back when we are abandoned right now - as you say, the contextual memory.

It might be that I hadnt asked for clarification. I think that while ago, I didnt know you were talking of your example and not every infant.

I saw the movie "What the bleep do we know", wow. I plan to watch it again and again until I understand everything and until the positive message it carries (which is "we can change ourselves") sinks in more into me.

I liked the fact these scientists were saying things, because its not easy to believe a spychologist if he says "think positively". If a scientist says its possib le to rewire our brain, then I can believe it. Great movie! I'll watch it atleast once more before I have to return it on Saturday.

I talked to a friend about Bikram Yoga. She only said it helps relax her and nothing is done to study the mind etc. - so its a different meditation you are talking of. I really look forward to meeting the Bhudda group. I dont even know if they meditate. I have to find out a lot about this.

April 2, 2006
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Tez

Sorry to chip in here. I just saw something very interesting that you said:

""Since you were just an infant, how do you remember you were abandoned?"

That is the excact question I asked the therapist and his answer stil stays with me till this day.

He said:
"Your actions and the way you are
This is the EFFIDENCE as to if you were abandoned.

Hope this makes sense

(((((Garfield))))

April 2, 2006
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ohh interesting. You must know it but if you are like me sometimes and missing out on reading (hehe), in Tez's case he was fortunate for his mom to tell him that she would leave him alone:

>> She believed that babies should be left to cry in the dark. She believed that attending to a crying baby spoilt them leading to a more demanding crying behavior. < < How sad. Ch ch. I can only hope to be a good father IF I am one i.e.

April 2, 2006
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garfield, ask the therapist - How would I have behaved if I hadnt been abandoned?

April 2, 2006
3:46 pm
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guest

I guest we do not get 'normal' people as you know.

But I know a few couples (friend of ours) that is "balanced" if I can use this word,

They seem to be able to cope emotionally with whatever life throws there way. They are happy and content, Active sex lifes. etc

This "balance" and strengh is a guide for me to see if somebody has been abandoned

????????????????

April 2, 2006
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Thats true. I wondered what his own response would be but it would probably be the same as you gave. thanks for sharing..!

April 2, 2006
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Guest_guest/

From your reply 2-Apr-2006, I suspect that I have failed to make my point clearly.

People can remember times in the past of having great emotional upheavals. This is remembering the CONTEXT of an experience. At the same time as this CONTEXTUAL memory recall the same FEELINGS as experienced in the past may or may not also accompany this contextual memory recall.

In the case where the contextual memory recall has triggered off the amygdala, the amygdala(emotional memory) activates our emotions and we refeel what we did in that past experience.

However, what often happens is the amygdala can be triggered off directly by the sensory data coming from our eyes, ears, nose, etc. The 'LeDoux short cut' neural pathway makes this possible. When a mother/father image is sensed in another petson, the infant programming of the amygdala can causes this emotional eruption without any immediate other memory system being activated.

It is the ABSENSE of contextual memories from infancy that facilitates our erroneous attributions of the cause of these emotions to external people in the present rather than to the recall of an emotional memory in the amygdala from the past.

This is a part of the physiological/neurological basis for underpinning the 'inner child theories'.

It is a difficult neurological process to grasp. However, I have found it of immense help in understanding otherwise absolutely confounding emotional responses in myself and others. You are/were in such a situation with cutie pie.

To someone who has never been so emotionally uninvolved, who has had good parenting and/or who has not understood inner child theory, your behavior with cutie pie might well seem incomprehensible, insane or even highly immoral under the circumstances. I see a very different picture.

Your psychiatrist has you on drugs? If so then he is using biochemical means to control the effects of your amygdala triggerings. I hope he also uses other forms of treatment as well in order to eventually eliminate the necessity for relying on drugs.

Dr. LeDoux, a neuroscientist from NYU Labs has published two very definitives works on these neurological processes. The first is called "The Emotional Brain", the second "The Synaptic Self". Both are heavy going and require some effort to read them. Unless you are dead keen as I was, I don't recommend you buying and studying these books as I did. In my case I am grateful to Dr. LeDoux for his life's research work.

April 2, 2006
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Hi Tez
I do understand what you wrote:

>> However, what often happens is the amygdala can be triggered off directly by the sensory data coming from our eyes, ears, nose, etc.< < I thikn Dr Daniuel Goleman's lecture which I attended, he talked of something like this. It was, that this shortcut exists to give us the fastest response to a fearful situation and save our lives. I get the concept somewhat. i dont know if its the drugs which is making me peaceful when I'm peaceful. I thought it was actually making me grumpy. My sleep problem MAY be at the bottom of all my chaos - I've gained 30 pounds over the last couple of months and I noticed I've "chocked" at times when about to fall asleep. I have to get this checked out. Ok, so let me know if you know of any real good book or website on the "Mind microscope" meditation you talked of. I want to get started on that. I think I'm a gonna maybe watch the Bleep movie again now, or maybe do grocery. Lets see... I hate doing grocery ahhhhhh!!

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