Anger, Cortisol, Adrenals and Trauma

I whole heartedly believe that my adrenal imbalance (?) for lack of a better way to put it at the moment is at the root of every single health issue that concerns me right now, including C-PTSD.

It is also the cause of my so-called personality disorder. It is the cause of me not being able to let go and move on from the abuse. Although I am not minimizing it. I am not saying I should or that I need to forgive them. They don’t deserve any forgiveness, given no one has apologized. They can all go fuck themselves.

What I do want and need though is to move forward with my own life and holding on to the anger is like “drinking the poison myself and expecting the other people (who I’m angry at) to die.”

It doesn’t work like that. As if I have to tell anyone that. But when you’ve been abused and screwed over and manipulated and triangulated and raged at by people who are supposed to have your back, it’s difficult to let go of that anger.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with being angry. Anger is a self protectant to let you know that something isn’t right. Sometimes we jump to the wrong conclusion but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the times we are right.

Emotions are a big part of intuition and all emotions are part of what makes humans tick. And many humans don’t like emotions, because if you are hip to what these assholes are up to, which is what your emotions help you realize, then they can’t get away with what they want to do.

My point is, that when our emotions get dowsed by years and years of being led to believe our emotions are wrong, when they are actually right and being treated in ways that indicate that our true emotions aren’t welcome in the presence of the grown ups we depend on, we start to dissociate. We become numb, or we actively set out to numb ourselves with beer, pot and food. (Those are the things I used.) I’m still using food from time to time. But getting better about that too, since I know how to make healthy stuff taste good, as well as understand that more than just vegetables are healthy. (Digressing.)

Eventually though the emotions build up over a period of time  and they need to escape somehow. Either we get sick, as the emotions we were not permitted to feel leak out into our cells. Or we explode in anger at every perceived slight, whether real or not.  Those emotions cannot stay hidden forever. They will make themselves known one way or another. That’s just the way it works. They need a place a go.

I am writing mostly about anger in this particular post but fear is also a factor…as most know and connect the responses of the adrenals with fear. But fear underlies a lot of anger humans feel. I think about a dog who is injured and lashes out, growls or bites. He comes across as angry but it’s more to do with fear than anger. In addition years of living in fear can lead to anger. I would love to hear the opinions of those who lived in fear of their abusive care-takers/parents when they were kids, on this.

When held in and back for decades the emotions cause stress on our organs. And since the adrenals are the organs that handle the cortisol, which is the hormone released when a human is presented with a stressful situation, the adrenals get completely overloaded. if as a child you had to live through gas-lighting, manipulation, triangulation, minimization of emotions & experiences and any other kind of abuse, the adrenals take a beating.

When we are not able to release the anger we feel from being threatened, because showing our own anger will result in even harsher consequences, that shit builds over a lifetime.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many stories I’ve heard from men, who were beaten and/or berated by their fathers as children. And when they were big enough, they finally took an opportunity to turn it around on that abusive father. Most of the time, no violence was even necessary from the son. Just letting his father know that he was big enough now to never take another punch from his bully fuck father, was enough.

But that shit stays. It creates scars that people on the outside can’t see.

I really don’t know how to bring this back to the adrenals in a way that truly flows. And I’m not scientific enough in the way I think to explain how it all works. I just know that stress is connected to the adrenals. I know that cortisol is released when we are threatened and when we are abused we feel threatened.

When we are kids, we usually have to freeze, particularly when the abuser is an adult. If we fight, we are not anywhere close to strong enough and the consequences are worse. And I’m sure that (in my case) if I ran, the consequences would not have been positive. So freeze was the only choice and in fact wasn’t even a choice. It was what my body automatically did. There was no thought involved.

Stress diminished the capacity to think, which is caused by an over-abundance of cortisol being released.  Our bodies are amazing and can survive a lot. But they were not designed to thrive on acts of abuse. The body will simply go into survive mode and as a result we become incapable of so many things we’d otherwise be capable of.

This is why I call abusers thieves.

 

 

Because we become more and more exhausted as the years go on when the fight, flight, freeze response becomes chronic. In fact it becomes a response (hyper-vigilant) even when it’s not necessary because the body/adrenals become locked into that response as a result of the repetitive reactions when it WAS necessary.

The abusers who caused this are thieves because, how the fuck are people who live with a cortisol imbalance and PTSD supposed to live a productive life???

That being said though, it is possible. I believe that there is an answer to most if not all problems. It’s finding the answer that can be difficult.

Here’s a decent article about cortisol and it’s connection to “mental” illness.

Quotes are because I don’t believe that the illnesses listed in the DSM are mental. They are very real and all physical. I know it’s not a popular belief, and it’s an uneducated one in the realm of colleges and universities (read, institutions). But that is what I think and believe from what I myself in my own body have experienced and from all the reading I’ve done.

Ok, so here’s the damn article. Lol

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

In the fourth paragraph the author writes this: “Otherwise, cortisol levels build up in the blood which wreaks havoc on your mind and body.” (Bold mine.)

I believe and think it should say, “…brain and body.”

The mind is a thing, a complicated one to describe and explain at that. But it is not the same thing as your brain.

 

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Damaged and Depressed

I feel like I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving today. (Saturday.)

I felt worse yesterday. (Friday.)

And I didn’t touch a single drop of alcohol on Thanksgiving. (Thursday.)

It goes much deeper than that.

Going from one toxic situation (affair) and the ugly break up of it with just a year in between, to another toxic, gang-bullying and abusive situation, has made me severely traumatized that I have not been able to crawl my way out.

And so it’s gotten to the point that I feel like this every. single. day.  I feel like I’ve already died. Essentially I have. Essentially I am dead…or might as well be.

In addition and in the midst of depression and the lack of recovering from so much trauma, we have moved recently, from a house we lived in for 13 years to a two bedroom apartment.

This, as you can imagine was a lot of work. Living with a man who has a difficult time parting with things made it no less stressful. His sister was our landlord and has still not sold the house, so the two car garage still has shit in it that Mr. B has to figure out what to do with.

Much of it has been taken by other family members and he has taken what we have room for here. Our storage area has reduced significantly though as you might imagine.

To add to the stress, about a month after moving in, we discovered an infestation of fleas in the new place. I am pretty sure they were here before we were from the information I’ve read about those evil fucks, but there’s no way to prove it.

Edit Monday 10/9/17: I think now that I may have been wrong in thinking the fleas were here already. Our cat was an indoor/outdoor cat who was, I found, already pretty itchy when we moved. Fleas are apparently not as noticeable when living in a house (although I do remember dealing with them a couple times at the house) as they are in an apartment. The fact that the effected animal was able to go outside also gave the house some respite and so the infestation didn’t have as much of a chance to grow like it did here. Kitty wasn’t going outside (and still isn’t) so there was no where else for the family of fleas to go and grow.

Fighting fleas is a good example of chaos control, which has felt like the story of my life. We sprayed, powdered, vacuumed and dusted. I also packed up some of our shit and boxed it back up to make the dusting easier. So that is still all boxed up and down in the basement and garage as well, taking away from our storage area.

I no longer have a desk in our new place. It was broken in the move but in addition there is no place to put it here. So I spend my time sitting on my bed or in it, depending on the temperature of the room. So I’m even isolating from my roommate.

Edit 10/9/17: I have moved the small drop down wood desk that we had in the living room into my bedroom. The drop down part gives sufficient room for a laptop. It would not hold a lot of weight but it does the job I need it to do and also gets me out of sitting in my bed all day using the computer. I listed this desk on Craigslist a couple times too. So glad it didn’t sell.

Even if I wanted to sit in either the living room or dining room, I wouldn’t be comfortable doing so now because of all the powder and spray we used on the only half way comfortable piece of furniture out there…the sofa.

10/9/17: A year later, the couch is sittable as far as the powder being faded and vacuumed. But it’s not comfortable and although B uses it, in my mind, it’s simply something that takes up space. I have never had a good and comfy couch of my own. So pathetic.

The self-isolating has also become worse now because the dog I had walked for someone, passed away a couple weeks ago, so I don’t even go out once a week for that anymore.

Under all this stress for the last seven, almost eight years, I have not taken care of myself at all, using junk food, alcohol, pot and cigarettes to numb the pain. All of that also certainly has added to the physical damage.

I have aged significantly in a short amount of time. As someone who has looked younger than her chronological age, this has also taken a toll on my self-confidence as well. I know 51 ain’t no spring chicken and in all honesty I do have a tough time accepting the aging process, but I look and feel much older than those 51 years.

Anyway, although the junk food doesn’t give me the same intensity of a hangover as alcohol does, I still feel something similar to one nonetheless.

Carbs, I am finding put me in a state of lethargy and depression. I couldn’t believe how knocked out I felt on Thursday night when I got home. And although I’m sure it had something to do with being surrounded by other humans…which I am no longer acclimated to…it was mostly all the carbs I ate that night, I’m sure of it, given my self-observation of late.

I find that when I eat close to a keto plan, I do much better. I start to lose weight, depression begins to lift and I have some energy.

But then I break down and eat something sweet and I’m not talking about just some fruit. Nope, I’m all about the cookies, brownies, cake, you know, shit like that.

This is not a problem perhaps for someone who can control themselves, be somewhat indifferent and not eat a whole fucking box of cookies in one sitting. But that’s not me.

I know what the problem is:

I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel worthy of being healthy. And until I do, this self-sabotage won’t stop.

10/9/17: Sad, not much has changed in almost a year. I am truly stuck and today I’m feeling depressed and rather bored. It took a lot for me to just get to this task of editing here. I have been drinking coffee, which is not a good thing for me. I did follow a keto way of eating for a few weeks and the heart palpitations where un fucking real. And I was not drinking coffee during that time. 

I went back to eating carbs but kept it on the healthier side for a while, like eating salads and quinoa with veggies along with some beef or chicken. But I gradually went to eating junk again and got caught up in that cycle of wanting to be excited by my food. Used food as something to look forward to as I do not have anything I look forward to in life. And I got caught up in that cycle because once I start eating junk, that’s when I get lethargic and have no energy to prep good healthy food. Today I bought some stuff on the healthy side. Let’s see if I eat it.