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Explored a few articles where people had success with 'reframing' their life experiences: (by re-telling painful life events more neutrally).
It's self soothing, helps people to feel better about their lives, & more able to move on.
Since my fears came from childhood, I plan to use this method to calm my anxiety & find a path forward since my mother died.
Not trying to simplify, just 'jump start' my dead-end feeling. Have an intern who will help me for free, also uses EMDR in this process.
I can do some of the work from home!
Gotta do something, (& on a limited budget).
I want to feel better about my mother, & eventually neutralize the scary childhood stuff.
Just sayin'.

This is almost exactly what my therapist had me do to overcome and process severe childhood abuse. I had to be SO READY to do the EMDR, which was fabulous and helped me to process and store the anxiety and fear in a safe place.

Rewriting the past--yes, I kind of do that. Rewriting situations and events to look at them from a third party stance---it's workable.

I have done a lot of journaling--and then I destroy the journals. I DO NOT want my kids or grandkids reading these horrific things about me. My kids and their spouses know a certain amount and only because I have anxiety issues---and I wanted them to understand why--not in depth, do you need to talk about the NUMBER of times you were raped or is simply saying "I was raped by my older brother" sufficient? Does the number 75 make me less a victim than say, twice? No, it is what it is.

Actually, one thing you learn in therapy is that you are NOT a victim. Accepting that and creating a safe space within your own mind is important. I wish with all my heart I had taken care of this prior to my marriage, because it has impacted my marriage, of course.

Writing it out was HARD and painful. I don't do a lot lately, as I am feeling fairly stable. And good to remember, you are working on a process that is hard and long work. As memories come back, they hurt, they wound us again...but since I have done this, I find that I am now having good memories coming back. Ones that were interwoven with the bad and so I just stuffed everything down.

You can do most of the work except the EMDR at home. I wish you luck and peace!!
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Reply to Midkid58
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Tiger55 Sep 2, 2019
Thanks Midkid58🌷 That's very informative & encouraging! I'm going to remain very superficial in my process though, cuz I don't need another nervous breakdown.
Very happy for your success though, God bless you friend! 💟
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Rewriting or reframing your life has been used by psychologists and psychiatrists for several years. It is part of a cognitive process. One writes out a particular incident in their. Then think and write about other things that were going on simultaneously. It’s whole picture therapy. Not simply centering on just yourself. Look at everyone involved and actions and reactions. It’s an effective technique but that one that requires a great deal of self honesty and hard work. It may also require empathy and understanding of the actions of others.
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Tiger55 Sep 2, 2019
I may not get far with the therapy if it has to involve such details, cuz I've blocked out a lot (for good reason).
But its ok, I'm happy with just telling myself a better version of the past, so I can believe better things about my family & myself. (Other therapy styles have just made me very distressed).
I like this intern I working with cuz she gets me.
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I've not heard of this either, but I love the idea. Writing about your life experiences from a neutral perspective? Sort of pretending to be an outsider who saw what happened? That could be very calming.
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Tiger55 Sep 1, 2019
Yes, it actually worked for me in just one day, especially regarding my sleep quality! Thanks TXGirl82.
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I'm not familiar with that technique, but I think there's merit in re-examining life and its events, and trying to see them in different perspectives.    It's a lot easier as we age, too.

I think we're all under a lot of pressure one way or the other during caregiving, and it can act to prevent clear thinking, recognition of situations, and sometimes a slight distortion of reality b/c we're not necessarily interpreting and filtering properly.

The stress I'm sure is part of this inability to think or see clearly, and another aspect is the increased level of obligation, AND responsibility.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Tiger55 Sep 1, 2019
So true Garden! My self-talk had gotten so miserable, that every time I described an annoying interaction, it sounded worse than before! Yikes.
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I think that sounds like SUCH a good plan. No, I am not at all familiar with it. Sometimes I think that the very WORDS we use say so much.
I often hear people say that they are not able to move on because of guilt. But guilt is something we feel when we do something bad. Really bad. Guilt is usually NOT what they are feeling. They are usually feeling "fear" because moving away from a situation in which they are being used as a doormat is too scary.They would have to leave the home where they care for an elder and are thus housed at the least. Or they would have to listen to the opinions of others or at least have the nerve to tell others, who want to sit in judgement,that it is not their places to do so. And all that really acting on their own behalf is too scary. So they say "I can't leave because of guilt". Words have great power. Just saying the words "I am afraid" is freeing. We realize it is a human emotion. It is ok to be afraid. And it takes away the power.
Rewriting the story in different words can be a great idea I think. Let us know how it goes.
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Tiger55 Sep 1, 2019
Thanks AlvaDeer🌷,
Yes, fear is such a problem for me. This technique made me face-up to how much of a victim I was portraying myself as... So foolish of me to re-live bad events from my past, cuz it messed up my "present" day emotions terribly. 😱
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