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Out of My Mind in Costa Rica-Living with CPTSD
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Out of My Mind in Costa Rica-Living with CPTSD

Author: Ray Erickson

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Out of My Mind in Costa Rica or OOMMCR for short is an effort to help those who suffer from PTSD and C-PTSD and support the people who love them. OOMMCR is a personal journal of my Hero's Journey mixed with clinical insights and stories of my trials and tribulations as a human being who was raised in an incest family. I'm a retired clinical social worker from California I hope this podcast will persuade you or someone you love to take positive steps towards healing the devastating wounds that resulted in the development of PTSD or C-PTSD.I am new podcasting, so please bear with me as I do my best to improve the quality of my content and the quality of my production. I am a stickler for detail, but I want this podcast to be like visiting an old friend. I want to credit Audionautix for my intro and outro music. It's a tune called Big Blues You can learn more about Audionautix at: http://audionautix.com.That said, let the pods begin.
25 Episodes
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Episode 25C-PTSD and Baby StepsAm I Feeling Better or Is It Prozac?April 29, 2021 In this episode, I am talking about feeling better on a more consistent way. This enhancement in my mood also corresponds to the window of effectiveness for Fluoxetine which is better known as Prozac. It doesn’t matter to me because the experience of feeling better is motivating regardless of it’s source. My role is to build on that emotional and cognitive shift taking place into a better world for myself and for the people I love and care about.I am taking Prozac, which is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiter or an SSRI. This class of anti-depressant has been shown to be just as effective in treating depression as psychotherapy. There are currently 15 different name brands of SSRIs using six fundamental compounds. For more information click on any of the links below.Lexapro (escitalopram),  Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil CR (paroxetine), Brisdelle (paroxetine), Sarafem (fluoxetine), Luvox CR (fluvoxamine), Prozac Weekly (fluoxetine), Pexeva (paroxetine), Selfemra (fluoxetine), and Rapiflux (fluoxetine).In the Costa Rican healthcare system, I was given the choice of Prozac, Prozac or Prozac. So, I chose Prozac.Dr. Arielle Schwarts has been writing about the journey of healing from Complex-PTSD for years. Healing Complex PTSD and Dissociation | Dr. Arielle Schwartz (drarielleschwartz.com)Here is the official government site on PTSD. I have given you the link to their information on Complex-PTSD.Complex PTSD - PTSD: National Center for PTSD (va.gov)I have given you this resource before. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.Complex PTSD Healing | CPTSDfoundation.orgThrive After Abuse has a YouTube Channel and they are doing their part in helping people with Complex-PTSD. Healing from Complex PTSD: Relaxation and Affirmation Video - YouTube
Episode 24C-PTSD and AngerThe Ugly Underbelly of Complex PTSDApril 22, 2021Today I am talking about anger and if you have C-PTSD, then you know anger. It’s not that you feel angry, but more that you look beneath your anger to the vulnerable parts of yourself. Today I try to give you an idea of the roots of my anger and the impact of growing up within an incest family. There is surprisingly little written on the relationship between C-PTSD or PTSD and anger, even though angry outbursts are part of the diagnosis. I find that only a little bit odd. Well, here are some websites that may help you with your own concerns or you are concerned about a loved one. Regardless, check these sites out. Maybe you will find them useful.It’s good to know what your footprint is when you are triggered. Do you fight? Do you flee? Or Do you freeze or fawn? We tend to be in one of these categories.Trauma Responses : Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn? (childhoodtraumarecovery.com)Pete Walker is a guy I have stumbled upon who has built up a very nice library of articles, books, audiobooks focused on Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. I highly recommend you check him out.More and more traumatology pundits list attachment disorder as one of the key symptoms of Complex PTSD (pete-walker.com)Here’s Pete’s website.Pete Walker, M.A. Psychotherapy (pete-walker.com)Here’s an organization I have just begun a relationship with. Look for my articles on their blog page coming soon.CPTSD FoundationThere are 3 types of anger associated with Post-Traumatic Stress. Roland Bal suggests an interesting  approach to taming the anger within you. Learn more about this by clicking on the link below.Complex PTSD and Anger: Looking at The 3 Types (rolandbal.com) 
Episode 23  C-PTSD and PerseveranceKeep on Truckin’April 15, 2021Today’s focus is perseverance, something I believe many of you will relate to. I bring this up this week because the road has been a bit difficult to traverse over the past few weeks. I believe I am coming out the other side of darkness, thanks to my persistent perseverance. I am sure you have done your fair share of persevering which will make today’s episode of Out of My Mind in Costa Rica particularly interesting. Come on in. Give it a listen.Here are a few websites that may or may not be aligned with today’s topic, but you will find they all have really good information for you regardless of where you sit in your recovery. Everyone knows the story of Sisyphus, but do they? Here’s a short video that will familiarize yourself with this Greek deceiver of the Gods.Sisyphus: The Man Who Deceived the Gods - Greek Mythology Stories - See U in History - Bing videoThis a one of the most influential books I have ever read. When you heal the shame that binds you, you heal yourself for life.Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw (goodreads.com)Here’s a fantastic article. Be ready for a big read. There is lots of information here that may need to be absorbed bit-by-bit. Thank you Eggshell Therapy and Coaching for your work.Toxic Family Dynamics and Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) | Eggshell Therapy and CoachingHere is one woman’s journey to healing her Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Her story is a good jumping off place for those of you seeking alternative healing practices. She achieves remarkable results.Complex PTSD: How I'm Recovering My Ability to Self-Regulate (recovery.org)
Episode 22What’s Going On?Emotional OverwhelmApril 8, 2021Today’s episode is no more than a brief explanation about why I have been MIA the past couple of weeks. I know there may be a few of you who may be concerned, and I want to set you mind at ease. Unfortunately, I don’t have the energy to give you any resource links this week, but if my plan goes well, I will be back next week with a full-length episode for your listening pleasure.Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.Ray
Episode 22C-PTSD and More GriefAnd the Grief Goes OnMarch 25, 2021Yeah, the grief continued all through this week. Remember last week when I talked about grief has no time restrictions? Well, last week really proved this to be true. Last week’s episode I focused on the 5 Stages of Grief and how you too will go through these stages, even if it is for the loss of your favorite fountain pen. This week was more like surviving the grief and I tell you all about it in this week’s episode. I took some bold moves to combat the ongoing and what seems like everlasting grief this week. I had pretty good results as evidenced by the fact that I actually was able to produce an episode this week.As usual, here are some websites that offer more information about grieving when you have Complex Post Traumatic Stress.An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding Grief by Randolph M. Nesse. This is an academic projects and packs a lot of punch. If you have an insatiable thirst for knowledge then this article may interest you.http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nesse/Articles/Nesse-EvolutionBereavement-2005.pdfHere’s a brief article on accessing your need to grieve those childhood losses that so many people with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress experience.https://mindkindmom.com/grief-complex-ptsd/Here’s a series of relative articles that are much easier on the brain that the more scholastic articles I am sharing this week. I hope you like them.https://cptsdfoundation.org/category/grief/I just discovered Pete Walker as I prepared this week’s podcast. He has been through it all and has lived to talk about it. Not only that, but he has also dedicated his professional career to helping people with Complex PTSD. My hat’s off to you, Pete Walker.http://pete-walker.com/managingAbandonDepression.htm
Episode 20C-PTSD and GriefGrief-The Unrelenting Shadow of Complex TraumaMarch 18, 2021Elisabeth Kübler-Ross brought clarity to the grief process when she identified the 5-Stages of Grief. Regardless of the culture, all grieving people experience these 5 stages. Grief applies not only to human losses, but inanimate objects as well. Let me illustrate how I grieved the loss of my favorite ink pen. It’s not just any pen, it was a perfect pen. I paid a lot of money for that pen and I had that pen for many years. It was more than just a pen. Do you get the idea? I am really attached to this pen. Keep that in mind because people tend to get extremely attached to people. Whether it’s people or pens the stages of grief are there.Stage 1: Denial: “Where the hell is my pen? I can’t believe it’s not here. I always know where that pen is.” This is denial. “The pen can’t be gone, it’s still here, somewhere. Denial gives a little cushion against the pain of our loss and opens the door to anger.Stage 2: Anger: “Damnit! Where is that pen? I hate it when I can’t find my pen. I am such an idiot. This really pisses me off!” Here we have anger. Anger at the pen for being lost and anger with myself for losing it. This begins an effort to bargain the loss back.Stage 3: Bargaining: “I know it has to be around here someplace. Maybe it’s in the kitchen. Is it in my coat pocket?” This is bargaining, with the hope that the loss suddenly shows up. This is fueled by fear that the loss is real. When we can’t bargain the loss back then depression sets in.Stage 4: Depression: Eventually, I realize my pen is really gone, and I become sad and depressed. “I really miss that pen. It was a really good pen. I feel really bad about losing it.” This is the beginning of letting go and I am preparing myself to accept the loss.Stage 5: Acceptance: Which brings me to acceptance. This is where all of the pieces of my grief come together and opens me up to life again. In this case, life without my favorite pen. “Today, I’ll buy a new pen.”The 5 Stages of Grief are a real thing. Test yourself with them. What have you been able to successfully grieve and what are you still struggling with? Perhaps a loss so personal, that it has been impossible to look at until now. Now is the time to grieve. Be proactive and when you find yourself dealing with loss, then remember these five stages of grief. If you nurture yourself through your own grief process, then your load will be lighter, and you won’t keep getting stuck in the past with a bucket full of unresolved grief. Here is a brief article that talk directly to grief and Complex PTSD. There are also more resources in the body of the article.http://thebereavementacademy.com/grieving-complex-ptsd/Here’s an article that asks 5 questions related to Complex-PTSD and grief. There is some real good information tucked into a short article.https://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/clinical-intersections/grief-trauma-and-complex-trauma-5-questions-answers-social-workers/This is a great article if not a bit wordy. Stay with it and you will gain a lot of insight as well as some good practices to explore if you want to go deeper into your grief.http://pete-walker.com/pdf/GrievingAndComplexPTSD.pdf
Episode 19C-PTSD and CommunicationGood Communication CommunicatesMarch 11, 2021Would you like to improve your communication? Here are Four simple steps that will make an immediate impact. Implement these strategies into your repertoire and life will get better.Stay in your own lane. You can’t speak for the other person. You can only speak to your own needs, your own wants, and your own desires. Keep in mind that it the responsibility of the speaker to be clear, and it is the responsibility of the listener to listen.Practice self-soothing. Use your breath to help you regain clarity in your message. Breathe deeply and slowly. In addition, know exactly, what you want to say. It must be clear in your mind before you can convey it clearly to another person.Use what they call an “I message.” This is a way of talking to your loved one, your boss, your child or pretty much anyone. It is easy to do and extremely effective. It helps you to stay on your side of the road. (#1)I Messages have two “I’s” in them. Like your head has two eyes. It is basically a three-step process.Step 1   State how you are feeling.  1.      I feel sad …2.      I feel happy …3.      I feel anxious …Step 2   State the experience. 1.      when I am not included in your plans.2.      when I see your smiling face.3.      when I get no response from you.Step 3 Together they go like this.1.      I feel sad when I am not included in your plans.2.      I feel happy when I see your smiling face.3.      I feel anxious when there is no response from you.           Repeat step 1, 2 and 3 as often as you need to.Stonewalling turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. The moment I realized I have been stonewalled for years, I realized that the jig was up and I had only one choice left.https://www.kylebenson.net/stonewalling/I cannot stress enough the role that Attachment Styles and Communication come into play when it comes to healthy relationships. Here are a couple of sites that take a closer look at attachment theory and how people with C-PTSD have less social support.https://www.yourtango.com/2019329229/attachment-styles-that-affect-your-communication-skills-relationshipshttps://sciworthy.com/people-with-complex-ptsd-report-less-social-support-than-those-with-ptsd/Alexander Draghici, MS, LCPC, from e-counseling.com has come up with 20 things NOT to say to people with PTSD. E-Counseling is an online mental health resource for people seeking support, advice and a connection to a licensed counselor. https://www.e-counseling.com/ptsd/things-not-to-say-to-someone-with-ptsd/
C-PTSD and Cannabis

C-PTSD and Cannabis

2021-03-0423:14

Episode 18C-PTSD and CannabisDon’t Bogart that Joint My FriendMarch 4, 2021Today I am going to share with you my 50+ year love affair with cannabis. I first began smoking cannabis in January 1970 and I never looked back. Beginning as freshman at Western Michigan and continuing through today. I have never tired of the experience of being under its influence. So, you might ask, “Why are you not smoking for the month of March?” I don’t have a big answer to that. It just seemed like a good thing to do at the time. Today is Day 4 of this cleansing which includes alcohol as well. I just wanted to see what would happen when I stop smoking and drinking for a month. I will keep you informed about my progress. Meanwhile, here are some websites that hopefully will expand you understanding of the impact of cannabis not just on me, but on society as well. I support the legalization of cannabis as well as the decriminalization of all recreational drugs. The war on drugs has reaped havoc on our society and disproportionately punished tens of thousands of innocent people who were simply trying to get through the day. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy today’s episode.Let’s start off with an article that was published in High Times magazine. To no surprise this article is leaning towards the benefits of cannabis for those who’s lives are in turmoil due to PTSD and Complex PTSD.https://hightimes.com/health/treating-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-c-ptsd-with-medical-cannabis/Here’s the Wikipedia article for Cannabis Use and Trauma. There are many affiliated links available on this web page for further exploration of the relationship between cannabis and trauma.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_use_and_traumaIn the Canadian publication The Conversation, they report on the positive impact that cannabis use has on people diagnosed with PTSD. Canada could soon be a leader in the research for the impact of cannabis on Complex PTSD as well.https://theconversation.com/cannabis-shows-potential-for-treating-ptsd-new-study-125370Here’s an article from Psychology Today that points out a phenomenon that occurs with frequent use has on the brain and our natural occurring cannabinoid receptors in our brains. This was something I didn’t know about. It’s a very interesting read.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/healing-addiction/202006/how-cannabis-defeats-itself-when-used-too-frequently
Episode 17C-PTSD and Co-DependencyBoundaries and Limits, Limits and BoundariesFebruary 25, 2021Today I do my best to stay focused on my life as a Super Co-Dependent. I was born into co-dependency and literally had no choice but to become incredibly good at being co-dependent. Everybody’s needs were more important than mine. I was fluent in phrases like, “Your wish is my command.” “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and my personal favorite from The Princess Bride, “As You Wish.” Simply put, co-dependency is the process of putting your needs beneath the needs of virtually everyone else on earth. If you are a good co-dependent, this is what you do. It is second nature and while you are slowly giving parts of yourself away you are under the delusion that you are righteous in you deeds. Co-dependents either die co-dependent, or they die knowing they took charge of their life and woke up from the hypnotic trance of co-dependency. They die knowing who they are. Here are some websites that speak to codependency treatment and the healing process. I hope the are helpful. Thank you so much for coming by and giving Out of My Mind in Costa Rica a listen.PsychCentral has a lot of really good information on their website and they spare no details. Detailed is good when it comes to co-dependency.https://psychcentral.com/lib/trauma-and-codependency#10I didn’t talk about mindfulness and meditation, but here is a wonderful website where you can get some solid support for the us of mindfulness and meditation.https://thriveglobal.com/stories/4-mindfulness-meditations-to-break-your-addiction-to-codependent-relationships/Here’s a short video from a young clinician, Siobhan whom I thought was wonderful. See for yourself. She provides top notch information in a very adorable way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEvM0UqjLtERecovery Direct in South Africa is a luxury treatment facility and I really liked a graph they used in their article on codependency. It’s a great article and the programs look fantastic even though I will never be able to afford their programs. I hope they let me use their graph.https://www.recoverydirect.co.za/codependency/
Episode 16C-PTSD and SolitudeThe Therapeutic Use of Solitude for Survivors of Complex TraumaFebruary 20, 2021I know, I’m late. I missed my self-imposed deadline, but this week has been quite the week and I tell you all about it this week’s episode. I have been craving solitude for a long time which meant, in my case, I needed to be on my own, completely. I have been on my own since November, last year and I am just now beginning to feel grounded.C-PTSD steals our lives out from under us and we are never given the opportunity to figure out what we want and who we are. This is where solitude comes in. The experience of solitude feeds the heart and soul. Solitude will help anyone, but it is especially powerful in the healing from complex trauma.Find a way to carve out time, just for yourself. Structure it with self-reflection and deep meditative experiences. Feed and care for yourself. Love yourself back to life. Below are some websites that I hope will expand on this week’s theme, The Therapeutic Use of Solitude for Survivors of Complex Trauma.The Crappy Childhood Fairy does a lot of really good work and this is the first article of a series focusing on C-PTSD and Isolations. Whether you read her blog or watch her YouTube channel, you are sure to get some help.https://crappychildhoodfairy.com/2019/09/26/cptsd-and-isolation-first-in-a-series/This article is from The Atlantic and if you like their magazine, you will like this article by Brent Crane.https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/the-virtues-of-isolation/521100/Psychology Today published this article by Virginia Thomas Ph.D. focusing on the benefits of solitude. She makes her point by studying teenagers.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/solitude-in-social-world/201909/solitude-medicineThe ultimate in floating on the water. Not a boat, not a raft, not a tube, but a sensory deprivation chamber. This could be worth the investment.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCjmRCywkZg
Episode 15C-PTSD and DepressionDon't Fight It. Embrace It!February 11, 2021Today’s episode is about depression, Major Depression to be exact and the role it has played in my life and how it is entwined deeply into the fabric of C-PTSD and PTSD. You can’t have these conditions and not be depressed. I hope today’s podcast helps some of you to ease your load a bit and take steps towards healing. It’s late and I’m tired and it’s good enough.I found Psycom.net had a nice approach to how Major depression is defined and treated. There is a ton of really good information throughout their website. It is definitely worth the effort.https://www.psycom.net/depression-definition-dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria/If you are curious about the workings of Major Depression, Very Well Mind has some good stuff. You would be surprised as to all what is going on in your brain when you have depression.https://www.verywellmind.com/the-chemistry-of-depression-1065137Here’s the Wikipedia page for the Feeling Good Handbook. This book revolutionized the treatment of depression and anxiety disorder and has been proven to be equally as effective as medication for the treatment of these conditions.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feeling_Good:_The_New_Mood_TherapyAnd finally, here is the straight scoop about suicidality. Here is where you are going to find out how to know if someone you know is having suicidal ideation and what you can do about it. Great information.https://www.psycom.net/suicide-warning-signs
Episode 14C-PTSD and Self-LoveThe Care and Feeding of Your SoulToday’s episode is about surviving the storm and building a safe harbor for yourself. I provide an update from last week’s episode where I read a heartfelt letter I planned to send to my wife. I also talk about realizing that the problems go much deeper than I anticipated. In addition the weather has been windy, windy, windy and order to deal with all of this I have been hunkering down inside and going out only when it is necessary. It makes me edgy.Weekly trips for groceries keep me engaged with the community, but for the most part I have been taking advantage of my solitude. Besides working on this podcast, I am actively trying to understand what happened in my relationship with my wife. I do this with almost no input from her.My wife is more than willing to address the business end of our relationship, but when it comes to the emotional aspects of our marriage, No Way José. She’s out of here. It doesn’t get discussed. Not even a little bit. There are no signs of this changing, so I need to look after myself.I am slowly letting go of my need for reciprocation when it comes to intimacy in my marriage. I am realizing that what I see is what I get. I don’t have to like it and I don’t have to tolerate it, but I need to accept it. This is why I am 95% convinced that the best route for me and probably for her as well is to terminate the marriage. Yeah, that’s a hard thing to say, but I honestly don’t see anything changing, therefore I must make the change that is best for me.Thanks for listening and I hope you appreciate this week’s episode.Here are some websites that I hope will enhance and expand todays focus. Thank you for listening.The experience of Flow is unforgettable. As children we experience it quite frequently in our play, but the magic of flow becomes diluted in adulthood. I encourage all of you to look into this amazing experience. You can find out more when you click on the link.https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-flow-2794768I talk about Mindful Eating as a means to greater fulfillment. By intentionally watching what happens to the food that you chew as you chew it. It is a great approach to weight loss. Check it out at this website.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mindful-eating-guide#what-it-isThis is one of many websites that address the problem of narcissism and it addresses it in a clear and understandable way. This website is a very good resource for all things related to health and mental health.https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-the-covert-narcissist-4584587
C-PTSD and PatienceStaying Grounded, Positive and HopefulThis week has been a bit up and down, with a lot more down than up. This gives me an opportunity to talk with you about these mood swings and what works for me. In addition to that, I talk about my wife’s response to the letter I wrote last week. You know, the one I read to you. Much of today’s episode is focused on taking care of myself, mainly because that is what I needed to do this week. It wasn’t totally a bummer. I had a surprise visit by a friend who lives in Texas and an encounter with a dear friend of his.So, I didn’t just mope around going, woe is me. No, I did my best to listen to my body and respond in a way that would nurture it. All things considered; I believe I am doing alright. Let me know what you think about my approach to wellness and healing. Here’s a blog post from GoodTherapy.org where it points to the contradictions all of us with C-PTSD experience. Within the article is a focus on switching off your auto pilot and switching on you Self-Awareness. This is a key ingredient to healing.https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/healing-complex-trauma-part-i-path-to-self-awareness-0119164Here’s a nice synopsis of the three phases of C-PTSD recovery from Theravive.com. It is important to be aware of what you are up against and what some of the therapeutic options are. There is a lot of information in a compact article.https://www.theravive.com/today/post/the-3-stages-of-complex-ptsd-recovery-0003280.aspxHere’s a PDF put together by Jessica VanArsdale, MD, MPH, from Humbolt State University in Northern California. It’s really good summary of what I talk about in today’s episode, plus one or two things I missed.https://wellbeing.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/health/Self%20Care%20Wellness%20Toolkit%20for%20Depression%20and%20Anxiety_for%20website.pdfLast, but not least is a wonderful article from the Gottman Institute. You know the place where they study relationships. I’ve checked it out, more than once and it is filled with good stuff and you want all the good stuff you can get.https://www.gottman.com/blog/3-steps-reconnect-feel-disconnected-partner/So, until the next time.Be Courageous. Be Strong and Be Kind.I’ll catch you later,Bye
Season 1, Episode 12C-PTSD and Moving On – Be Here. Be Now. One Day at a TimeJanuary 21, 2021It is looking more and more like I will be on my own for quite a while. This week I continue to process what is going on in my life. I share my final email to my wife in hopes she will be able to read it with an open heart and mind.We have our 3rd and hopefully final meeting with Migración, Costa Rica´s equivalent to Immigration in the US. We have been working on this since before we moved to Costa Rica in December 2015. It has been a long, strange trip. There is no reason to believe that this meeting will result in my permanent residency and if I so desire, the next step would be to apply for citizenship. I can have dual citizenship here in Costa Rica. That may not be a bad idea. Until then, I am still a Gringo and if he government wanted to boot me, they could.I also talk about Moving On. No, not the political organization, but moving my life beyond the boundaries of my marriage with the knowledge that we are not likely to reunify. That is not the worst thing that could happen. I believe we will make much better friends than we were as lovers. It could turn out to be an incredibly positive thing for both of us.Here are some websites that I hope will enhance your understanding of the material I talked about today. Thanks for coming by. Thanks for listening.There is an article on Bustle.com Jay Polish lays out the dynamics in relationships when C-PTSD is part of the picture. You can read it in the link below.https://www.bustle.com/p/how-complex-ptsd-can-affect-relationships-according-to-expert-18007145If you are thinking about moving to Costa Rica and become a resident, this is where you begin. https://www.migracion.go.cr/SitePages/Inicio.aspxThere are a lot of people here who are living full time here, but do not apply for residency. They are perfectly happy with the perpetual tourist method. That means, every 90 days they need to leave the country and return. This is not as hard as it may seem and, in most cases, can be done in as little as an afternoon where you drive to the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua, walk across the border, get your passport stamped and walk back into Costa Rica. It is a bit intimidating as the Nicaragua has armed military personnel everywhere and it can be intimidating. Costa Rica is not in a hurry to discourage these people from living this way. Many of them own property and employ Ticos. It’s a case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.Here is a nice article from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. He gives you some sound advice if you are thinking about staying friends with your ex or your soon-to-be ex. Turns out it is not a good idea for a lot of people and if you have C-PTSD then be very, very careful. Prioritize yourself. Take your time.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201103/10-tips-survive-break
C-PTSD and RelationshipsTriggers, Attachment Styles and Deep DivesSeason 1, Episode 11January 14, 2021There has been a lot of C-PTSD anxiety in me this week and as usual I am here to tell you all about it. There is a lot going on in today’s episode, from triggers, more stuff about attachment styles and what I call deep dives. I bring up the idea of Inner Child Work and I wanted to give you a good resource to learn more about it. I’ve gone to them before and I’ll probably go back to them in the future. The CPTSD Foundation is a solid source of science backed healing information and support. They are doing a great job.https://cptsdfoundation.org/2020/07/20/healing-trauma-through-inner-child-work/I also talk about Native American Journeying and Shamanic Drumming as one of the many methodologies I have explored. Here is a nice description of the process of a Spiritual Journey.https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-culture/spiritual-journey.htmI also spend a great deal of time talking about relationship and C-PTSD, my relationships in particular. There is a lot out there on this topic, but here’s a rather good one.https://couplesinstitutecounseling.com/love-someone-with-complex-ptsd/Thank you for listening to Out of My Mind in Costa Rica and please come back. Tell others about this podcast. Write me a note at ray@rayerickson.com. Help me be that soothing voice so many people need. Thank. Until next time.Be Courageous. Be Strong. Be KindI’ll catch you later.
Episode 10C-PTSD and MeditationA Foundation to Build UponJanuary 7, 2021Today I want to talk with you about meditation and share some of my experiences with meditation. Yeah, I know, almost everyone I mention meditation to says, “Yeah, I tried that, I couldn’t keep my mind focused.” or “I couldn’t stop thinking, so I quit.” Newbies think they were failing when in actuality, they were just scratching the surface of what meditation is. First of all, meditation is an action, not an outcome. It is the action of non-action. I know that sounds paradoxical, but it is true.There is no right way to meditate and there is no right amount of time or number of times per day standards. Meditation is a contract you enter into with yourself. It is a commitment to spending a small part of your busy day doing nothing and being present.There are thousands of books, videos and podcasts that will instruct you on what Daniel and Michelle Levey call the Fine Art of Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation. They wrote it all down in their book by the same name. Their book is my favorite because it gets to the point and gets you meditating right away. Here’s a link to Goodreads for more information about this book.The Fine Art of Relaxation, Concentration, and MeditationDo you want to know more about meditation? Where it comes from? What traditions have developed? or simply How to meditate? You might want to start with Wikipedia. There you will find a boat load of information spanning a wide range of meditation styles and traditions from throughout history.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MeditationBecause I dive pretty deep into a trigger event from last Sunday, I thought it would be a good idea to toss out a website that supports getting up close and personal with your trigger process. The more you know about your triggers, the better you will be at resolving the event. Here is an article in Psychology Today by Marcia Reynolds, PsyD. She is the author of two leadership books, The Discomfort Zone and Wander Woman. Check her article out below.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wander-woman/201507/5-steps-managing-your-emotional-triggers
C-PTSD and 2020Out with the Old and in with the NewIt’s New Year’s Eve and the end of 2020. Yeehaa! Today I am looking at endings and beginnings, like everyone else, I am sharing my resolutions for the new year, although I don’t call them resolutions, I call them priorities, because that is what resolutions are.We’ve all been waiting for this day to arrive and it is just like 2020 to go and fuck our New Year’s Eve celebrations. What has the world become. Anyway, for people with PTSD or C-PTSD this time of year usually brings about a lot of anxiety.We know, from experience, that the new year will probably just like the old year. But for a few of us faithful, there is always the possibility of healing.I talk about Attachment Theory and Attachment styles today and if you are in a roller coaster relationship, then maybe, this episode will help nudge you along in a direction that will yield real results. I’m not saying it will be easy. Quite the opposite in fact, healing and change is never easy, so buckle up and hang on, 2020 will likely spill over into 2021 so you had better get your priorities straight.Here is a great website on psych issues overall, but this article give you a quick look at attachment styles and you will be able to get a good idea of where you fit into the models. All you need to do is be honest with yourself.https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-change-your-attachment-style#3Here’s a great article on healing from C-PTSD by Dr. Arielle Schwartz. A key component of healing according to her article is it is critical for the survivor to take personal responsibility for their habitual thoughts and actions. It’s straight forward and easily digestible. Give it a read.https://drarielleschwartz.com/hope-for-complex-ptsd-recovery-dr-arielle-schwartz/#.X-5OkthKhEYThe Wellness Society has published a great handbook for those of you who are suffering from the symptoms of C-PTSD. Your loved ones will benefit from checking it out as well.https://thewellnesssociety.org/healing-cptsd-the-ultimate-online-guide/Until next time, remember:Be courageous. Be Strong. Be Kind. I’ll catch you later. Bye
Today, I take on Christmas.  PTSD and C-PTSD have been with me for most of my life, but I didn't know that until about 8 years ago.  This means that most of my holidays have been without the knowledge I have this problem.  I grew up in the 1950's in rural, small town, America where life was simple and neighbors were helpful. The economy was roaring and families everywhere were indulging themselves at this time of year. It was an amazing time and place to grow up in.  Christmas as a child was magical. My parents went all out on the tree as well as what went under the tree. There were mountains of presents. I kid you not. A lot of people my age can relate to this. It was a fantastic time to be a kid.  Life changes when you grow up and for many of my adult years, Christmas was a jolly time, that is if I were in relationship. If I were not in relationship, they were dismal, depressing and painful experiences.  Here we go for another round of holiday festivities, although this year is unique because, many of us never made to Christmas because of COVID-19. My heart goes out to those families who have lost a loved one to this terrible pandemic. It also angers me that our government has failed the people so completely and so ingenuously.   As usual, here are a few websites that may help you take the edge off this holiday season.  The CPTSD Foundation is a wonderful website and I will probably be posting there links here quite often. Here is a cornucopia of ideas to help you take the edge of this holiday season.https://cptsdfoundation.org/2018/12/24/surviving-christmas-how-to-turn-a-helliday-into-a-holiday/Below is a line to one hell of a brave person’s YouTube channel. You need to know that this video shows someone who has taken the road less travelled. I relate so much to what she is saying, even though it is clear that this work takes its toll on her at times.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgwUSH2c-Z4Beauty After Bruises is a fantastic organization and they offer great advice for those of us with traumatic stress in our lives. The article below is chock full of helpful hints to make this year a better than you expected year.https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/blog/survivingtheholidaysBe Courageous, Be Strong, and Be Kind.I'll catch you later.Ray
The decision to talk about shame today came about as a result of being called out by a social work friend.  She was absolutely right, I had fucked up. Fortunately it was easy to fix. All I needed to do is delete some footage and edit a couple of paragraphs out of the transcript. Piece of cake, right?Not so easy when you have PTSD or C-PTSD. In my family, mistakes were dangerous and I tried really, really hard not to make mistakes. Which was impossible, of course.  In today's episode I talk about my family and the roles we were all forced to to play in order to survive. Shame played an integral role in my parent's lives and it played an integral role in my and my brother's lives.  I talk about the impact of shame on development and how shame is an incredibly power tool to manipulate and control people.Here are a fewhttps://cptsdfoundation.org/https://www.verywellmind.com/ptsd-and-shame-2797529https://www.verywellmind.com/ptsd-and-shame-2797529
I want to start off right away and let you know I am continually working on sound quality. It is of the utmost importance. With each episode I am learning and improving. For the moment, this is the best I can do and you will need to put up with an occasional 'pop' or 'crackle'.  Thanks for your patience.Today's episode digs into my experiences in Idaho, specifically the pending court date  following my 4th arrest for DUI. My attorney advised me to pick a place to go and get out of Idaho or be facing at least a year in jail. I was "chronic". I wasn't getting it. And I was a danger to others.I talk about moving to California in June, 1975 and again in  February, 1984 and how the legal problems in Idaho paved the way for me to become a social worker, going into private practice, writing books and training parents and professionals. None of it would have happened if I weren't so fucked in my early 30's.Maybe you have been there, maybe you haven't. Either way, optimism and gratitude have played a key role in my life. The dark times of Idaho is but one example of the many times I have crashed and burned only to rise again. like a Phoenix, out of the ashes.This episode is testimony to power of resilience and perseverance. This was not a pretty picture, but whose life runs like a well-oiled machine? Certainly not mine. And I doubt yours does either. We are all in this together. So, you might as well embrace your humanity, warts and all.Here's a couple of websites that may be helpful when you are emerging out of the darkness in your life.Make sure you are sitting down because the CPTSD Foundation goes directly to the heart of C-PTSD. If you don't want to look in the mirror, then don't read it. If you are courageous, you will see the truth and get the help you need.https://cptsdfoundation.org/2019/04/26/the-difficult-road-to-intimacy-living-with-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/This article is from the  Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders and it stresses the relationship between optimism and resilience. Something we can all use nowadays.https://centerforanxietydisorders.com/resilience-optimism-trauma-response/ Stewart Collins  takes an academic look at Social Workers, Positive Emotions and Optimism. It is long and, yes, it is a research project and no, I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it is bookmarked and I will get to it right away. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09503150701728186
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