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Full Ahead Mr. Sulu

July 14, 2016

Greetings,

I have had a HUGE problem in my life.  The problem is I can have major difficulty keeping my head in the present.  Sometimes I spend a large portion of time living in my past.  That is definitely NOT a good thing for me to do.  However,  that is exactly where my thoughts take me, again and again and again.  This is mostly due to my PTSD flashbacks.   I went through hell as a child and I find myself reliving the traumatic sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse in my mind, over and over again.  It can be extremely difficult for me to stay oriented to the present.  Prayer helps, but what helps the most is being around friends and family, and fellowshipping in Christ with them.  They know my problem and they do an excellent  job of reminding me of what year we are actually in and how long ago the abuse really occurred.  Their love and support help to keep me grounded in the present moment.

It is not that I try to stay in the past.  I fight the good fight of faith every day and strive to remain in the present.  However, at times the past just overtakes me and in an instant I get all lost in it.  I have recently discovered that old songs and television shows can trigger the flashbacks.  It is totally an immense battle for my mind.  But I need to remember that, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10: 4 and 5

If I try to fight my past memories with mere natural mental and physical means they kick my ass every time.  However, if I surrender all of them to The Lord and fight in The Spirit with supernatural means I have much better success.  I have found it vital to “take captive EVERY thought”.  And not just the thoughts I predetermine to be harmful.  I am NOT the filter and judge of even my own thoughts.  No, I must make my thoughts “obedient to Christ”.  If I am in charge of the gateway to my mind I will totally screw it up most of the time, but if I allow Jesus to always be in that role I find tremendous peace.

Obedience to Christ sets me and my mind free.  I just love the word obedience.  Especially since I discovered its core meaning.  It was right there all the time and I don’t know how I ever missed it. What is central to obedience?  ObeDIEnce, DIE is central and the key.  If I DIE daily and allow Jesus to take ALL control and live in me, then and only then do I really walk in total freedom.  Today at this very moment I am free, and I owe it all to Jesus and those HE put in my life to help me.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s.  While I still have occasional flashbacks..I have not had a full blown PTSD episode in nearly three years.  Praise Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments
  1. Missy permalink

    Hey Kirk:

    I appreciate your commentary today. I also suffer from PTSD and still have flashbacks–they are fewer and farther between now. I will explain that in a minute.

    Interesting you mention obedience. As you and I have recently mentioned Randy Stonehill, Randy mentioned in concert repeatedly that obedience is incredibly important. That made an impact on me, and you further validated it. Thank you.

    Back to the flashbacks: Yes, I have a great support group to keep me on track. And I have coping skills/plans in place to help.

    One extra boost God has given me to help has been phenomenal at helping me to continue to function without falling apart, or even wishing to die or the many severe traumatic events I’ve gone through. It is called EMDR. It is amazing. Your therapist works with you on this–it doesn’t make you a weak person to “have” to do this. Just the opposite: you are a strong person to work on this, and even stronger, happier, healthier, more confident person after working on events!

    “Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It’s growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.” WebMD).

    Basically, the therapist asks you want you want to work on, and asks for a number how strongly it’s bothering you. Also asks how do you feel about yourself about that incident? He/she guides you through the images through a few options–following his finger, or he can tap on your legs, or you can follow lights on a screen, etc. When it stops, you’ll be asked what you’re thinking, and will be guided on what to do from there.

    Believe me, the first few times I did it, I rolled my eyes. Maybe it was the way it was presented. Or I didn’t give it time. But this most recent thing I’ve been working on–a tragedy that happened in 2013–we had a breakthrough last week, and it light night and day! Instead of always going to that most horrid thought, I started at a different point, if my thoughts went toward the horrid thought, it acknowledged it matter of factly and went on to something more pleasant. It’s Never done that before! Praise the Lord!!

    Both therapists I worked with on this are therapists, so I kept God in this equation. God is there for my best and my worst. And I’m so grateful to that. Amen?

  2. Thanks for sharing Missy. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit can work through different members of the Body of Christ to confirm stuff like obeDIEnce isn’t it? I know Randy, but we haven’t talked recently. EMDR has helped me bunches in the last 5 years Missy. So far we have covered 14 different traumatic events and it really reframes everything into more positive directions. I am glad you spoke up here today MIssy. YOu encourage me!

  3. Gary Zanow permalink

    Good insight Chris. Speaking for myself, I find myself able to counsel others in their distress; but can’t apply those same words to myself. This is why we need others to surround us and embrace us and remind us of those things we need to hear. Praying for you, man. And hurting with you.

  4. Tom Ball permalink

    There seems to be about a 1 1/2 second “window” between the moment we become consciously aware of the unwanted thought we are having, and the kicking in of the rest of the neurocircuitry involved in storing-recalling-engaging the entirety of that thought (setting, sounds, words, etc. involved with the thought). Within that 1 1/2 second interval I either silently or aloud (depending on where I am) begin to sing a hymn. This activates a completely different set of neurocircuitry elsewhere in the brain which is devoted to music and the positive lyrics of the hymn. The brain/mind/will then entrains with the positive lyrics and music and the unwanted thought dissipates.
    I can always choose to override my positive choice and go back into the unwanted thought. But, over time, the unwanted thought(s) actually becomes a “trigger” to activate the music/hymn singing activity… thus, taking every thought captive.

  5. Dan permalink

    Letting Christ be the Gatekeeper of our thoughts is the gateway to peace.

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