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Thread: Intrusive thoughts and PTSD

  1. #1
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    Intrusive thoughts and PTSD

    Greetings all,

    Iíve posted on here before, but a little background about me: 28 year old male, college educated, independent, single, just an average dude living my life.

    I donít quite know how to convey my issue, so Iíll do my I have noticed Iíve had a problem with intrusive thoughts for years, and I get disturbed really easily.

    In most cultures, it is acceptable to hit children in order to punish them. My parents did that when I was growing up, but they never used objects. Both of my parents have hit me hard on my face in the past; I still to this day have nightmares about it. I donít agree with hitting kids as a way to punish them, and I would never do that to my children when I have kids.

    I remember one time, me and my now ex-girlfriend were having a conversation about how children act these days. She mentioned to me ďmy parents spanked meĒ, and it was almost as though she just laughed it off. I get further disturbed at people who pretty much laugh when they tell stories about when they were hit. I would also look on Facebook at different memes, and people would post one that has a picture of a belt, stick, sandal, or other object and ask ďwhich one did you get? LOLĒ To me, thatís not something to laugh about, and make posts like those invisible when I see things like that. My former girlfriend before her told me that when she babysat kids, she would ďspank them until they start crying so she knows itís workingĒ.

    I donít know if there is something wrong with me, but every time I heard those, or anything else like that, my mind gets really disturbed. I get really bad images in my head of a child getting hurt by someone who is supposed to love them, like the child crying after being hit. Iíd probably cry myself after seeing something like that. I just canít understand how a parent can love their child, yet cause them physical pain as a way of ďnurturingĒ them, that feeling to me is further disturbing. When my first ex told me about what she did to the kids she babysat, I wanted to tell her to just zip it, but I let my self control take its course. Apparently itís highly acceptable to do that. I get a really depressing feeling when I think about things like that. I know itís acceptable in society to hit children, but I just have never agreed with it, and every time someone tells me that they do it to their kids or they had it happen themselves, I get really disturbing images in my head; and I do have nightmares about it too. I just canít get these intrusive thoughts out of my head. If I were to see a parent like out at the store doing that to their child, Iíd probably walk out of the store because I donít want to see that.

    I have to ask someone who may know more about this, is it wrong for me to feel this way? Is it my compassion for treating children the right way making me feel this way? Do I maybe have PTSD from how my parents treated me?

    Thank you all.

  2. #2
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    Your ex (the babysitter) was out of line. In the States she would have been arrested.

    I was punished as a kid (hand, belt), but do not have any emotional scars from it. I would not hit if I were a parent, as I do not think it is effective and do not like violence.

    I think your reaction is extreme, unless you were abused as a child. You should seek some therapy.

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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Your ex (the babysitter) was out of line. In the States she would have been arrested.

    I was punished as a kid (hand, belt), but do not have any emotional scars from it. I would not hit if I were a parent, as I do not think it is effective and do not like violence.

    I think your reaction is extreme, unless you were abused as a child. You should seek some therapy.
    I was abused as a child, emotionally and physically. Example: my Dad pushed me against the wall when I was trying to hug him; he also told me Iím ďdumber than he thoughtĒ one time. I donít know how my reaction is ďextremeĒ.

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    I thought from your original post that it was not extreme. You should have shared this info.

    I strongly urge you to seek counseling for this. Your father was abusive. I'm sorry, that you had to grow up in this environment . Do you have a relationship with him?

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    It seems like you have an empathic (not to be confused with empathetic) personality... very sensitive to outside stimulus, easily impacted (positively or negatively) by the feelings of others and by the things you hear and see.

    TBH I feel much the same way when I see people joking around about being hit with objects as a kid... bragging like it was some badge of honor to be hit with a slipper... I too was hit with objects (wooden spoon, belt, brush) and hands... back then it was socially acceptable to hit your kids... but that doesn't mean it was okay or appropriate and I don't like to joke around about it either.

    I think people joke about it because it's their way of coming to terms with what happened. Hiding those posts, ignoring them, walking away from the conversation, seems like the adult thing to do here. It isn't appropriate to hit children for any reason... sadly I did spank my daughter a couple of times when she was a toddler...it was when I was in a huge amount of fear that she was going to cause some serious damage to herself... and I own that guilt for life now, however I really worked on owning those feelings so I didn't make a habit of using physical force to discipline her.

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    Well, intrusive thoughts come from OCD. There might be a PTSD component if you were abused as a child. But if these intrusive thoughts actually drive you to cry, then you may want to look into Cognitive Behavior Therapy. A therapist can also recommend some meds that will also help with these thoughts. You should probably talk to a professional about them.

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    I was physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually abused as a kid. I would NEVER NEVER abuse a child or hit them. I believe hitting is abuse. My mom was hit daily. My dad was beaten literally and flung down flights of stairs.

    I never never abused my child.

    EMDR has reduced my PTSD significantly.

    If a babysitter ever hit my child they would have been arrested.

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    I also grew up in a very tumultuous and physically abusive household. My name was often replaced with profanity so there's not an instance of verbal abuse that I would recall because it was just continuous and "normal" in my house. I received the vast majority of the beatings, etc. I wasn't a bad kid by any means, so it wasn't like I "deserved" it.

    What helped me is EFT (emotional freedom technique). Really consider EMDR or EFT. The long-form version of EFT is similar, but they're both good for PTSD. You can learn the short-form online for free in a few minutes. Essentially you tap on certain acupuncture points while revisiting painful memories and it helps you to let go of your visceral reaction to the stimulus. The longer version incorporates moving your eyes in specific directions to activate certain parts of the brain while you think upon and tap over the emotional upsets.

    Since your thoughts are quite intrusive, it will be helpful to isolate specific images/memories and the feelings or beliefs behind them. What disturbs you the most about it? Do you have beliefs like:
    -not being safe within your body
    -not having control over whether you're safe
    -feeling unworthy of love
    -feeling inherently shameful or bad
    -feeling like it wasn't safe to express yourself
    -feeling like you have to walk on eggshells

    Tap on the specific images that you find so disturbing and what they mean to you.

    I don't have the reaction you do to these things so much, but I have also worked on my stuff quite a bit. Offhand, I do get that kind of reaction to people peeing their pants for some reason. Happened to a bunch of kids around me in elementary school with a teacher that was so talkative that she wouldn't allow children to interrupt her, even if they were asking to go to the bathroom. So now whenever I hear stories of planes that are grounded after passengers were refused the right to go to the bathroom but couldn't hold it or military cadets in the same situation where their emergency requests for restroom use are denied, I get similar feelings and it just deeply disturbs me. I don't get presented with this often, so I don't otherwise think about it and haven't really worked on it. I think what triggers me is the idea of being punished for a situation completely outside of your control, sort of like how it was growing up. These are the kind of takeaways you should do when working/processing something that really bothers you.

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    Oh, and just to add, I think your girlfriend was very out of line for beating kids she babysits. The sentiment she expressed is just plain disturbing. I wouldn't want to have kids with her, tbh.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by mack1490
    I was abused as a child, emotionally and physically. Example: my Dad pushed me against the wall when I was trying to hug him; he also told me Iím ďdumber than he thoughtĒ one time. I donít know how my reaction is ďextremeĒ.
    I agree that your reaction seems extreme.

    Im not saying that to belittle your experience, its just stating whats observed.

    We all have different temperaments and different levels of coping skills. Thats how one person can survive a robbery and be perfectly fine and another needs years to work through it.

    Also,some people find comfort in their sorted pasts. Like someone else said its a badge of honor, that goes both ways, some want to be pitied and given sympathy.

    Something this deeply rooted, please see a therapist, thats really the most effective way to work through all this.

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