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Fear of Success!

For years, I would take low paying jobs, and not really understand why. It was like I was avoiding a “success” career track, and jobs underutilizing my skills felt safer or more comfortable.

Then I began to build a very successful career, almost in spite of my efforts to avoid it.

I was working in the oil industry, and got to the highest pay level for my profession. I suddenly got tired of the work, and quit.

I never could understand what was happening for many years.

Then I uncovered a violent incident from my childhood. My Dad let me know it was dangerous to be successful, or to think I was “better than him.”

I’ve worked hard to turn this pattern around.

The thing that has changed – how quickly I can recognize the pattern and let it go when it crops up.

I’ve been writing promotional scripts freelance, for whiteboard video scripts. It is a LOT of fun – I get to weave a story into the description of the product or service.

Recently, I have worked on:

-A community center for inner city Los Angeles

-Scripts for natural cholesterol, blood pressure and sleep aids

-A large scale initiative to develop homeless shelters

-A program to help college students focus and succeed

-A lot of other projects of a more commercial type

It’s a blast! I’m really enjoying myself, and I am very good at what I do. My creativity is in explode phase, and each project is a new challenge, so the work never gets stale.

A couple of days ago, I realized that the past month was my most successful ever, and that I was crossing a threshold to make this a very successful writing career.

Then yesterday, I could feel myself pulling into “it will never work out” feelings.

I realized that those feelings weren’t based in reality, and indeed – the opposite was happening. I was in reality becoming very successful!

I stepped out of the Fear of Success pattern and disengaged from it.

It took until today for me to realize what a huge deal this is.

The pattern will no doubt crop up again, but I have a way to get out of it. Instead of just living in the pattern, avoiding success, and not being aware.

Now I can succeed, and not try to run from it!

This feels very very good!

:)

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Incredible clarity

I have done a lot of work over the last several years to release the impact of the abuse that led to C-PTSD in my world. I’m now able to do things like giving up sugar, which has freed me up enormously, and was a signal that those old abuse issues didn’t have the same hold on me as before.

But one result of all this work – incredible clarity!

I now know what to do in situations with a certainty and clarity that was just not available to me. It wasn’t available while I was in the fog of dealing with PTSD issues. I don’t know if that clarity has ever been available to me like right now, because I had those PTSD issues from the time I was 8 years old.

An Example

So here’s how that clarity looks.

I had a client buy a job late Saturday night to write a script for him. I specifically asked him if he wanted an informational or story script. He said story, and even gave me a great example.

I wrote the script and sent it to him.

He responded what he really wanted was a “commercial video” type script. He hadn’t mentioned this at all before. Plus, the term is so vague, I could spend a LOT of time trying to figure out what this guy wanted.

I sent him an email saying I had delivered what he wanted, and I was now really confused.

I remembered what a guy said years ago “Any time I start feeling confused, I think dysfunction is at work.”

I then promptly sent the guy a cancellation request, before I ever heard back from him. No wasting time on back and forth while he couldn’t define what he wanted.

No hesitation. No uncertainty.

It was there, and I saw it, and I did it!

WOW!

A Flying Dream!

Something happened a while back that hasn’t happened for many years. I didn’t say anything about it to anyone for a couple of days, because I just wanted to absorb it for me.

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Last night I had a flying dream.

It was unlike any flying dream I’ve ever had before.

I haven’t had one since the ‘80s.

Back then, I only had a flying dream a few times.

Most of the time, I was flying low to the ground, and having to dodge telephone lines.

Once, I had a dream where I was flying high and smooth. It only lasted for a moment.

Once, I had a dream where I shot off the ground like a rocket, straight up.

Then the flying dreams stopped.

The dream last night was totally different.

I was able to fly freely.

High, low, it didn’t matter.

I soared around just savoring the experience.

Gravity didn’t affect me.

There was a lightness I had never experienced in my flying dreams before.

I flew incredibly high into the sky, into a sort of city in the clouds, like the one Lando Calrissian managed in The Empire Strikes Back.

It was so high you couldn’t see it from the ground.

It was on the edge of space darkness, like when Chuck Yeager took the X-1 up where he could see the stars, in the movie The Right Stuff.

There were luxurious rooms, and apartments and hallways.

I was able to float through them freely.

At that point I was more levitating than flying.

I had no fear of falling.

I knew I could fly as long as I wanted.

The dream went on for a long, long time.

It’s Becoming Real!

In 1988, I gave up alcohol. That was a struggle, but I haven’t had a drink since. Alcohol was a feeling stuffer in many different ways.

In 1994, I gave up tobacco. My parents had both smoked since I was a baby, and I know I had an associated smoke addiction from the time I was a small child. I haven’t had tobacco since. Tobacco was my feeling stuffer for anger – as I dealt with my anger, I was able to let go of tobacco.

In 1996, I gave up caffeine. it just revved me up too much, and fueled my sleep deprivation. Caffeine was a big feeling stuffer for fear.

The common thread in all letting go of those addictions – when it was time, I was ready, and I could really stick with not doing it again.

The one that has always stumped me is sugar.

I’ve been trying since about 2000 to let go of sugar. I’ve tried a lot of things, and even gotten support, but evidently it wasn’t time. I just wasn’t ready.

Well –

I didn’t want to say anything, but I have been off sugar now for almost three months, and this time it feels real. (Note: this was originally posted on another site a while back. It has now been over a year that I have been off of sugar!)

I didn’t realize how big a deal it was until I started looking back at the PTSD issues I’ve dealt with, especially the ones with my grandmother. She was always feeding me ice cream and lots of sugar.

I remember as a teenager coming home and having half a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk, and calling it dinner.

So sugar has been a constant in my world, not to mention it’s a primary ingredient in alcohol and tobacco.

Then one time I sent an email to my good friend Carl, and said “I’m letting go of the feeling stuffer for my core issue.” He picked up on the power of that statement.

My core issue – the abuse by my grandmother that defined my world since I was 8 years old.

I typed that in very big letters “I’m letting go of the feeling stuffer for my core issue,” printed it, and taped on the wall next to my computer.

It became real why I had struggled all those years. It was back in 2000 that I was starting to become aware of the PTSD and abuse issues by my grandmother. It took a long time to deal with those issues – it just took as long as it took!

I have started to accept over the past several months that I have dealt with the abuse by my grandmother, and it doesn’t limit my world like it used to. (Not perfection, just a lot of progress)

I have finally begun to believe that this is real, and this time – it’s going to take.

I have let go of sugar.

Wow!

 

The Expectation of Blessing

Since I was 8 years old, I have existed with a sense of bad things on the horizon.

I know exactly where that came from – abuse by my grandmother, which led me to believe that my lot in life was to suffer, and if I tried to succeed, she would guarantee a horrid ending to my existence.

I could not change this reality – the expectation of doom was deeply embedded in the fibers of my soul. I reflect back on my actions over the years, and they now make a lot of sense – why try to be happy when disaster would be the outcome?

I have spent a lot of time in the last several years working on the abuse by my grandmother, which was the most core source of my PTSD. I have been committed to root out that dysfunction, and do all I could to recover from that trauma.

Last week, my writer friend Randi said something like “be open to embrace the blessings of what is about to happen in your world.” I was ready to act on that new truth – that blessing could be mine! For me, it’s best to just leave it at that – if I try to define the blessings, I limit how wonderful they could be.

The other morning, I woke up and thought “I’ve made it.” It signaled a deep feeling.

I’m not going to claim that I’m free of symptoms, or that I have fully recovered. The nature of the C-PTSD I have struggled with is too deep, and I still expect to feel its effects at times. But my world has shifted in a remarkable way.

I woke this morning and had to chat with my friend Carl, because I was just aware of a new reality in my world – the expectation of blessing!

Good things are coming my way, and I am ready to embrace them.

That is mostly a head statement right now, and I think it will take a while for it to sink in. So for now, I’m smiling a lot and basking in the glow of this new reality.

I’m just letting it sink in.

Here’s a very interesting book I just found out about. The author candidly shares her story, to help break the cycle of abuse and the damaging effects that result from that abuse. Kindle-Wounds-of-the-Father-High-Resolution-188x300

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In the bestselling tradition of Smashed and Glass Castle, this raw, eye-opening memoir tells the powerful story of Elizabeth Garrison’s fractured childhood, descent into teenage drug addiction, and struggle to overcome nearly insurmountable odds. Elizabeth invites the reader behind the closed doors of a picture-perfect Christian family to reveal a dark, hidden world of child abuse, domestic violence, and chilling family secrets all performed in the name of God under the tyrannical rule of her father. Like countless teenage girls, Elizabeth turns to drugs and alcohol to escape. With smack-you-in-the-face honesty, Elizabeth chronicles the dark realities and real-life horrors of teenage drug abuse, living on the streets, foster homes, and treatment centers. She paints an unsparing portrait of scratching and clawing her way out of the grips of child abuse, addiction, and betrayal to find the strength within herself to save her own life.

 

Elizabeth Garrison has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and works as a researcher for the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Her research focuses on the effects of childhood abuse and developing interventions to help children recover. She also is a well-known celebrity ghost-writer. Given her talent in helping others to tell their stories, Garrison decided it was time to tell her own story. Visit her at www.elizabethgarrison.info.

More Healing From The Book

I have been working on final edits for Healing The Writer – A Personal Account of Overcoming PTSD for the last month. An editor gave me tremendous feedback to help tighten the manuscript, and I’ve been making great progress on making those changes.

I have known that it would be a big deal to finish and publish this book, because it would directly expose the lies of my grandmother to the light of day, thereby robbing much of their power. It would also contradict her messages about being a writer. I will reclaim a lot of power by publishing this particular book, because of the subject. Even my doctor said “this book is a big deal.”

When I was 8 years old, my grandmother told me if I ever became a writer, they would “call me crazy and lock me up.” She reinforced the message in pretty hideous ways, which included saying the doctor she worked for could have me committed to an asylum, and then showing me what it would be like.

In one section, the editor suggested I might need to dig further down to get in touch with my experience of the worst abuse. I thought I already had, but as I worked on editing that section, I wrote additional content that was the how that little boy felt, at a deeper level than I had ever gotten to it. Later I had a “feeling memory” where I got in touch with what happened to me on a very visceral level.

I feel different about it now. A therapist I worked with for many years emphasized that we had to expose the lies. He used an analogy several times – he said it was like the old movies where Dracula could never face the light of day. If he did, he would wither up and die. I have experienced that effect a number of times, where facing an abuse will suck a lot of power out of it.

I’m in an interesting place. I feel lighter. I am more ready to publish this book. I’m astonished by how healing this process has been.

It feels like a huge victory, and I’m letting it sink in.