Tag Archives: brain

God Will Give You Great Wisdom

James 1:5  “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it.”  (TLB)

 

As many of you know, I have C-PTSD.  It’s badly damaged how I think & my short term memory.  Then in 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning which caused me to pass out & hit my head, further damaging my brain.  Thanks to these problems, I’m really not as smart as I once was, & it can be simply maddening.

 

The above Scripture has helped me a great deal with my physical limitations.  I lean on God so much more than I used to for giving me wisdom, & He has not disappointed me.  I’m not bragging about my intelligence.  I am bragging how generous God has been!

 

So many times in my life, I have been stuck in a painful situation I didn’t want to be in, & God has shown me creative ways to get out of the situation or to cope with it so it isn’t so painful to me.  One that comes to mind immediately happened a few years ago.  My narcissistic mother told me I was going to take her to & from the doctor who is almost 30 miles away.  I had things going on that day & didn’t want to do it, but she refused to reschedule her appointment.  This had happened many times & I was tired of it.  It also bothered me we’d be taking her car & not mine- I hate being trapped without my own vehicle.  I asked God to help me get through the day &  I needed a creative way to either get out of this in the future, or for Him to put it on my mother’s heart to be more open to my schedule, not only hers.  As we were leaving the doctor’s office, God gave me an idea- drive home like we were on a NASCAR track.  There wasn’t much traffic, so I did.  I had a lot of fun speeding down the highway, & my mother was especially angry because it was her car I drove that way.  That was the last day my mother saw this particular doctor.  LOL  He wasn’t doing her any good anyway- she just got narcissistic supply from him & his staff because they listened to her.  They didn’t help her pain at all.

 

So many other times in the past few years since developing my physical problems, I have needed wisdom & asked God for it. He has answered those prayers every time.  From simple things, like creating a routine for maintaining my home that keeps my place very clean but isn’t hard for me, to more challenging things like how to deal with financial problems, God has helped me every time.  He has even helped me to understand my narcissistic parents, which has helped me so much!  Understanding them has shown me that I’m not the problem, & they have some serious issues that aren’t my fault.  Talk about a blessing!  After hearing how I was always the problem, this knowledge has truly comforted me more than I can say.

 

What areas do you need wisdom in, Dear Reader?  Whatever your needs, I encourage you to ask God for wisdom.  He will grant you wisdom & creativity far above & beyond anything you can imagine.  Whether your situation is like mine where you need more wisdom to handle daily life or it is a one time frustrating situation, be prepared to be amazed when you ask God to give you wisdom.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Physical Problems Can Change You

Those of you who have been reading my work for some time know that on February 27, 2015, I nearly died.  My fireplace’s flue had a problem & it caused carbon monoxide to enter my home.  It caused me to pass out, hitting my head on the logs beside the fireplace which gave me a concussion.  I easily could’ve died that day, but I didn’t.  I live with symptoms daily from the experience but my thinking has been especially odd to me.

 

My emotions & ways of thinking are different now than they were prior to my accident.  I have become much more self-centered in my thinking.  I firmly believe this is a side effect of the concussion, as many people I’ve seen who have experienced brain injuries become extremely selfish, some even narcissistic.  Thankfully I’m aware of it & do my best not to let it get out of hand.  I am also triggered VERY easily now.  Seeing a happy parent & child together saddens me, for example, because my relationship with my parents is so unhappy & downright toxic.  It’s very odd since I never thought that way before.  I also don’t lose my temper often, but when I do it is very ugly.  Even after 2 years, I’m still getting used to all of this.

 

I finally recently asked God about what is going on with me.  I’m hoping what He said will help some of you as well if you’ve experienced changes after a health scare.

 

Some health issues can change a person.  The chemical or physical changes caused by some illnesses or injuries can cause a person to respond differently than they once did.  Traumatic brain injuries & carbon monoxide are known for changing a person, but other illnesses & injuries can as well.  Many people experience depression after surgery, for example.  The changes you experience due to your physical problems may influence how your brain processes information.  In my case, my brain was already injured due to C-PTSD, & the concussion was just one more injury & one more trauma.  No wonder I’m triggered more easily now.

 

Becoming more selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing either.  As long as it’s kept in check, it’s actually a good thing.  So many of us raised by narcissists learned early to put other people ahead of ourselves no matter what.  We need to become a bit more selfish & start taking care of us & without feeling guilty for it!

 

Everyone has a point where enough is enough.  When a person faces a serious health scare or near death experience, that may push the “enough is enough” point way up.  Something about coming close to death makes a person realize just how fleeting life is & how quickly it can end.  Often, that realization means patience for abusers vanishes & sometimes that filter that keeps you speaking nice things doesn’t always work.  You may not get mean, but you may become more blunt.  The realization also can make a person more determined to enjoy every possible moment of their life.

 

 

If you come from a narcissistic family, facing health problems means you have an additional complication to your health concerns.  Do you tell them?  If so, you know they won’t be there to help you if need be.. will they even care?  Can you deal with whatever cruelty they dish out to you on top of being sick?  Being faced with having to hide your problems or hear from your narcissistic parents about how much worse of *insert name here* has it than you are NOT nice prospects!  In fact, they hurt a great deal & they make you angry.

 

If you’re experiencing changes in your personality after illness or injury, talk to your doctors.  If nothing is physically wrong, then maybe you’re experiences are simply similar to mine.  Why not try to embrace the changes the best you can?  Maybe once you get to know the new you, you’ll think you’re pretty cool!  And maybe  too, the changes are for the best.  Losing patience for abusers is a good thing- you won’t be a doormat anymore!  Being more determined to enjoy life is a wonderful thing too.  You’ll  waste less time on fruitless things & spend more time on the things you enjoy & that are important to you.  I know it can be hard to find the good in health problems, but some things like I’ve mentioned in this article can be good.  They may be hard to get used to at first, but they really can be a good thing!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Intrusive Thoughts

I saw an interesting special on TV recently about Andrea Yates, the mother of five who drowned her children in the bathtub.  I always wonder what makes people do what they do, especially when what they do is so unbelievable, such as in the case of Ms. Yates, so this show intrigued me.

Apparently she developed post partum psychosis that became worse after the birth of each child.  She had hallucinations & heard voices that told her that her children needed to die now so they could go to heaven or else they would grow into evil adults & go to hell.  Thankfully, this is quite rare!  But one of the most amazing parts of the story to me was that when Ms. Yates & her then husband sought treatment, she received very little treatment.  One doctor told her she just needed to “think happy thoughts.”

Think happy thoughts?!  Gee, I bet she never thought of that!  *facepalm*

Guessing this doctor never heard of “intrusive thoughts.”

Intrusive thoughts come with some mental illness.  They are thoughts that come to mind that you can’t distract yourself from.  Having C-PTSD, I have experienced them myself.  Sometimes, they’ve been in the form of a memory of abuse, other times they are anxiety laden thoughts (what if this doesn’t go right?  Then what do I do?  What if that doesn’t work either?!) or they are depression related (things aren’t going to get any better, I’m a horrible person, etc).  Since getting a concussion last February, mine are much harder to deal with than they used to be.

When intrusive thoughts happen, I’ve found the best way to deal with them is to talk to God.  Ask for His help.  1 Corinthians 2:16 states that as children of God, we have the mind of Christ.  Although it doesn’t feel like it during painful & frustrating intrusive thoughts, it is still true.  What did Jesus do doing His most difficult & painful times?  He talked with His Father, & received answers & peace in return.  Following Jesus’ example truly helps.

Try to slow down, & deliberately focus on your thoughts.  Question them, tell them they are unwelcome, ask God to tell you the truth about what the thoughts are saying- do you have a real reason to be so anxious?  Why is this awful memory back in my mind- is it something I need to deal with?

Understand intrusive thoughts.  Everyone has them, but to varying degrees.  If you’re fortunate, you don’t have them often, & can distract yourself from them.  If not, they may be a sign of a mental health issue that needs addressing.  It may be a good idea to discuss them with your doctor or a therapist if you find yourself having them often & unable to distract yourself.  Intrusive thoughts don’t mean you are crazy or broken beyond repair!  Often they are a symptom of anxiety, depression or having experienced trauma.

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Repressed Memories & The Brain’s Ability To Cope

The brain is truly amazing.  It will do some very impressive things to protect you!

A visit with my parents in August showed me this.  During the visit, my mother threw an immense amount of verbal abuse my way.  After they left, I told some people what happened & I knew there was much more too it, but couldn’t remember.  It was very frustrating at first.  God showed me something though…

In my younger days when things like that happened, I remembered everything.  I may later repress it & it would come out years later, but usually I remembered things right after they happened for a while at least.  As I got older & more terrible things happened, I started developing more symptoms of C-PTSD.  Sometimes when these events happened, I’d forget a few little details, then remember them a few days later.  Once the C-PTSD fully developed, I’d forget more & more, then over the next few days, I’d remember those things.  Since my concussion last February & have had so many problems resulting from it, I forget a LOT, then remember it up to a week after the fact.

This has turned into a good thing.  I am able to cope less with things now than I once could, & God showed me that my brain is allowing only what I can deal with to come up.  Amazing, isn’t it?

This happens with memories that have been repressed for years as well.  Sometimes, something is too traumatic to deal with, so the mind hides it until you are able to deal with it.

If this describes you, please know that it is happening for a very good reason!  Your brain doesn’t want you to become overwhelmed or depressed.  It is allowing you to cope with only what you can cope with.  Don’t try to force yourself to remember something.  Allow it to happen in its own time.  Ask God to reveal things to you only as you are able to handle them.  It is best for your mental health!  Forcing things can set your healing back rather than helping you to move forward.  It can negatively impact your self-esteem.  It can depress you or make you extremely anxious.  It’s just not worth it!  Let events progress naturally for the sake of your mental health!

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What Is Your Personality Type?

Thanks to a recent discussion with two of my wonderful fans, I learned about a fascinating personality test based on Carl Jung & Isabelle Briggs Meyers’ approaches to personality.

The test will result in a  4 letter description of your personality & explanation of what it means.

I would really like to recommend you take this test & learn what your personality is.  Truly, it is a very eye opening, enlightening experience.

I learned I’m an INFJ personality, which means Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling, Judging.  This happens to be the rarest personality type (which I think is pretty cool!).  Reading about INFJs has answered a lot of questions I had about myself.  I always thought I was weird, but in fact, I’m not- I’m simply a typical INFJ personality.

On a whim,  I also took the test for my narcissistic mother, answering the questions to the best of my ability, & she turned out to be an ESTP.  The description sounded a great deal like her.  No wonder we clash so badly- our personalities are entirely opposite.

In any case, learning about your personality type is very helpful.  It will teach you why you are the way you are.  It’s also very validating.  As I said, I always thought I was weird & have come to realize I’m not.  It also can teach you about yourself.  Learning about my personality showed me exactly why I hated certain jobs but loved others, why people (even strangers) have come to me for advice,  why I can be so obsessed with details & more. I feel like I’ve learned more about myself in the short time I’ve been reading about the INFJ personality than in the rest of my life.

I hope you’ll consider doing the same.  Learning who you are, learning about your personality is not only fascinating but so helpful.  And, if you’ve grown up with at least one  narcissistic parent, then you never had much of an opportunity to get to know who you truly are.  You learned who that parent said you were. Why not finally learn about the special person God made you to be?

Here is the test:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

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Dreams- The Surprising Wisdom They Contain

The Bible is full of stories of people who dreamed powerful dreams full of deep & personal meaning.  Abraham, Job, Ezekiel, & Daniel just to name a few.

Although many years have passed since those men dreamed their dreams, dreams are still a very important part of life today.  Acts 2:17 says, “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (KJV)  I believe this is happening today, & is partly why so many people are having more dreams & more memorable dreams than they once had.

I’ve always had very vivid dreams, but especially since developing C-PTSD.  Now, if I dream of being at the beach, I wake up with tired legs that feel like I’ve walked through sand.  If I dream of running, I wake up out of breath. It’s very strange!  Plus, my dreams are often very odd.  Common dreams people have include the ability to fly or being naked in a public place.  I have no such dreams- they are always something much more unusual.  So unusual in fact, that I asked God what was going on with these weird dreams of mine.  He had some very interesting things to say..

For one thing, people who have experienced trauma have nightmares.  From what I read, I assumed that meant nightmares about the traumatic incident(s).  However, this is not necessarily the case.  Sometimes that happens, but usually the nightmares are about other  things that the dreamer would be upset about.  For example, cars symbolize your life in dreams.  I also happen to have three classics & adore classic cars, so cars are often a part of my dreams.  Fairly often, I dream that my ’69 Plymouth has been vandalized or totaled somehow. Usually, that dream happens when I feel someone is trying to control or change me.

The brain is constantly trying to process trauma.  Even when you’re asleep, the brain is still trying to process what happened.  Even if you aren’t dreaming about a traumatic episode, or even if you dream isn’t upsetting only odd, it still may be your brain trying to process trauma.

There will be many dreams you don’t remember.  If you don’t remember some dreams, you’re normal!  The brain works every moment of every day, which means it is still trying to understand or process some things (not necessarily even traumatic things) while you’re asleep.  If you don’t remember some dreams, it means you don’t need to remember them.  I think of those dreams much like those programs that run quietly in the background of your computer.  They’re necessary to function, but not necessary to know all the details about.

The brain knows what you need, even if you aren’t aware of it, & can try to tell you that via your dreams.  If you’re working too hard, you may dream about being on a vacation, then wake up with a strong desire to take a trip.  That was your brain’s way of saying it’s time for a break.

Sometimes, God speaks to us through our dreams.  Daniel 2:19 says, “Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” (AMP)  God spoke directly to Daniel & others via their dreams sometimes.  I believe God spoke to me via one of my recent dreams.  I had a dream about being in a hospital emergency room where I was treated (rather uncaringly) by a doctor.  While there, I realized I had a big sewing needle stuck in my heel!  There was a lot of blood & no one even noticed.  After looking up the symbols I remembered, I realized the dream showed me that I need to be more spontaneous, & have more fun without relying on others to have fun with.  I believe God gave me this message in that odd dream.

If you haven’t paid much (or any) attention to your dreams, I really would like to encourage you to start doing so!  Dreams can be a very valuable tool in life.

Interpreting dreams doesn’t have to be terribly hard either.  I have no natural gift in that area, so I look up symbols online.  www.DreamMoods.com is my favorite website.  I usually write down the dream, then under that every symbol I can think of from the dream.  I look up each symbol’s meaning on that website.  Once I’m done, I look it over & ask God to help me understand what it all meant.  Works every time..

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Extreme, Out Of Balance Thinking

I noticed an unsettling trend today in things I was reading: extreme thinking with no balance.  For example, one thing I read said we need to feel compassion for narcissistic people because they are so wounded.  Yet, other things say we need to offer them no pity- just cut them out of our lives the moment we see even one narcissistic trait.

 

Neither solution is good, in my opinion.   If you have only compassion for a narcissist, she will play on  that, & use & hurt you constantly because you give no consequences for these actions.  However, if you quickly deduce someone is a narcissist & cut them out of your life, that isn’t necessarily the right solution either.  What if you judged this person wrong & they were only having a really bad day?  Or, what if God has plans to use you to change that person?  Some narcissists who are low on the spectrum can change, after all- maybe God wants to use you to change her heart somehow.  In either case, you could be making a mistake by eliminating this person from your life too quickly.

 

I believe in order to be a mentally healthy person with an empathetic heart, you need to be  balanced & avoid such extreme thinking.  To understand that yes, someone who has abused or bullied you was deeply wounded, which is why he or she did those awful things to you, yet also understand that does not give this person a free pass to abuse.

 

Many victims of abuse in particular seem to think this way, without balance.  Most commonly, I think, feel compassion & pity for their abuser or make excuses for the behavior.  Often, they even accept the blame for the abuse.  How many wives whose husbands beat them have you heard say, “It wasn’t his fault!  He was drunk/If only I had done what he asked, he wouldn’t have done this!”?  They don’t realize that while yes, it was terrible what happened to their abuser, that doesn’t give him or her the right to abuse anyone!

 

 

This extreme thinking & balance also fits judging the situations other people are in.  How many people have very definite opinions on something so controversial as medical marijuana?  Many people think it’s horrible- there is no excuse to use it!  Others claim it is extremely helpful in alieviating pain when nothing else does.  There don’t appear to be many people with more balanced thinking such as, “I’ve never tried it, & I doubt I ever would, however I understand that person is in such pain constantly, that he is desperate enough to want to try it.”

 

If you tend to think more extreme, then I would like to encourage you today to try to open your mind a bit more.  Try to see things from other people’s perspectives.  Imagine yourself in that person’s position.  Ask God to give you a more caring, compassionate heart & perspective.  Out of balance, extreme type thinking isn’t beneficial for anyone, but understanding, compassionate thinking will benefit everyone.

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