The Awareness Games

Be the hero/heroin of your Story.

All comics with courtesy of Tom King and Clay Mann from stunning art work “Heroes in Crisis” (2018).

The Awareness Games – Psychology for Beginners.

Tonight I am proudly publishing my first very creative project on Emotional Intelligence. Psychology is like Spiritual Alchemy and it can transform our story in a hero/heroin’s journey. So, let’s take this adventure together!

Story Time

The idea was caught together with Andreas, UK navy led reserve, sport coach and cheerful half ukranien/half british friend met on the website Forces Pen Pals. He replied my brave forum message on Remembrance Day (11/11) on PTSD – topic Guilt and Shame. His story follows here with his agreement, of course:)

I have seen a counselor (talking therapy), then also had CBT, and also sports psychologist based on CBT. They have been helpful. I learnt some skills. Although I still didn’t find it all as effective. I did change but I still would struggle. I would read and watch videos etc myself, a lot. I am talking for a period of about 4yrs. I had about 40hrs of counselling from specialists. Still the biggest change and hit came only resent when I started to understand more of what I actually can do with my emotions. I connected the dots. For some reason no one could explain me in detail such things. Nothing new. And not that I never had heard of it.. Basically, it was allowing my shame to be shame and not suppress it. Kinda weird. But it had a profound effect on my anxiety.

My PTSD is not mission related. I haven’t been on any, yet. I am a reservist. I had(have?) early childhood PTSD. It went uncovered until recent years. I went through depression and low moods for years. To top that off my flatmate a couple years ago became alcoholic and his behaviour hit me very hard. That’s when I reached out because it was not going anywhere. Now that I am well recovered I have gained a personality that I couldn’t quite have all my life because I was only a 3-4yr old when that embrace and growth was taken away of me.

THIS IS WHEN YOU RAN AWAY?

No, No, I didn’t run… I… FLEW.

You know, regarding the shame. There is loads on it out there but not a lot that’s written sensibly. And advice is not always very helpful at all. It’s the emotion that keeps us down for a while after we have done something wrong so that we wouldn’t be kicked out from our social group so we can reflect on ourselves. Well, that’s good until we get stuck in shame and it doesn’t stop, and we get shamed by somebody who doesn’t know any better. So, when I see myself struggling or doing some bad(perhaps even nothing to do with me but somehow I attributed it to me) I would feel shame and embarrassment for not controlling it, allowing it to happen etc. It would just eat me away.

WHO’S JUDGING YOU?

You are! Right now. You, You! You.

Normally (whatever that means), shame is a useful emotion because it does help us evaluate ourselves. Too much and too often of it breaks us. I think with the servicemen it’s the intensity of the trauma, the time spent with the trauma, (toxic?) masculine/stoic environment, and poor emotional coping skills. They can’t just withdraw from their circumstances. However and apparently, servicemen are not more likely to suffer with mental health than civvies… A research done in British Armed Forces. I suppose the intensity is greater, like I mentioned. So it might down to the individual’s skill set that allows somebody to shake the bad off or succumb. Is coming back from a war into an environment that treats one with a contempt might be a factor too. I think you yourself can testify that civvies can suffer and do suffer of horrendous effects of trauma. Yes, very much early childhood experience and parenting.

If we had come out strong and thoughtful and not just recovered by a chance. That’s how I would see living with emotions. I think the social paradigm doesn’t prepare us emotionally intelligent. We rather vaguely understand how what works and the manipulate each other to achieve some outcome. We really are habitual manipulators. We don’t recognize our emotions. That’s how we grow up. I was a wretch 🙂 I still was a good guy, keen, smart outwardly but my internal drives were nothing but screwed. It wasn’t all bad, of course. But I was running and I was bound to crash, and there was no safety net for me.. When I went to kindergarten the staff there were very shouty, angry, so for the little 3-4yr old it was a terror. It’s like what adults get in the military, that’s what I had then. It set the course for my life. 

Antonella Barberini
PTSD Beautiful Trauma
Web Editor, IPF Agent and Author

Guilt and Shame

Check out my beautiful art work on taboo topics like such.

One Comment

Comments are closed.