Excerpts from the book: (I wrote out phrases or paragraphs in the book that I found to be especially helpful. Though the whole book is excellent).
"The approach outlined in this book is a kind and gentle one. It deals with the attitudes and behaviors that came out of the abuse situation. It deals with operating style."
"When life events are beyond your control, take control where you can."
"Abused people filter Positives into Negatives."
"Abused people are afraid of feeling happy. They fear something bad will happen."
"When an abused person cannot find an abusive relationship, they abuse themselves. This is one of the most important concepts. This pattern of abuse is a Habit -- It is something you are Familiar with."
"Abused people discount compliments. Abused people have difficulty taking credit for their strengths and accomplishments."
"If a "frozen child" is not treated, it will keep -- and continue in their "frozen child" thinking of taking the rap, and feeling guilt, shame, failure, pain, abuse, and all the other garbage into their adult years. The "frozen child" grows up physically into an adult, but emotionally remains psychologically frozen as an abused child."
"Trust is a problem. This is based on reality."
"The most difficult thing for an abused person to do is strive to be AVERAGE, Not Perfect and Not a Failure."
"Low self-esteem is common."
"Making mistakes is no big deal. It is part of being human. For abused people, mistakes are a big deal. It's what you learn from the mistake that makes the difference."
"Most abused people feel embarrased about their abuse. Again, this goes along with their Frozen Child Thinking. The abused child takes the rap, feels shame and guilt. They feel that they did something wrong. That they are defective, and therefore, have every reason to feel embarrassed about their abuse. Realistically, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. They did nothing wrong."
"Once you recognize that it can be normal to have pain and fear without abuse, you can prevent yourself from regressing into a self-abusive pattern and cycle."
"If things are going well, it is hard to handle. Abused people need to keep things stirred up. This is because they are used to turmoil. Abused people have a very difficult time when things go wrong. They are not used to peace and tranquility. Out of habit, they are used to chaos."
Thinking it through technique
This technique is taught in the book. I'll write a brief description about it. I have found it to be a most helpful tool. It just plain rocks. It suggests writing the following. However, I just write the event or stressor, feeling, and action to take. But, the following may be helpful when starting out with this technique.
Write out the following in a sheet of paper, side by side if possible.
DATE: no explanation necessary
EVENT or STRESSOR: What exactly happened?
FEELING: How you felt about the event?
SCALE: On a scale of 0 to 100, what is the percentage of your feeling with 0 being no feeling and 100 being most intense feeling you can experience.
SPONTANEOUS THOUGHT: What comes to your mind first? What then? Keep writing this out asking yourself "what then?" until you are done.
RATIONAL: What would be a rational way of dealing with this situation? It sometimes helps if you look at the event and tell yourself different ways of dealing with it as if you were talking to your best friend or your child and helping them figure it out. What would you tell them?
Also, look at the last spontaneous thought and the event. Is it realistic? For example, once when I did this it was when I was feeling depressed. I wanted to cut on myself and couldn't find anyone to talk to. My last spontaneous thought was "I want to kill myself." Now take the event (Can't find someone to talk to) and the thought (I want to kill myself) and ask yourself if that is reasonable? What would you do if someone told you that they wanted to kill themselves because no one was available to talk to them at that point in time? You would think, "That's not right." So I had to find some rational ways of dealing with my depression over the situation.
1. Journal (writing about it helped)
2. Find someone in a little bit (even though I couldn't find someone at that moment didn't mean I couldn't find anyone ever...afterall I was in the hospital)
3. Distraction (I worked on my puzzle book and tried to read a little. It helped ease the depression until I could talk to someone)
It's amazing. At first I thought the whole thing was really annoying. But I found that it really did help! It's a wonderful tool for dealing with stressors and the emotions they cause.
Here's another one of my examples. I didn't do the whole technique. Just Event, Feeling, and Action.
Event: One of the patients was out of control and needed to be given a shot. I could hear her screams.
Feeling: Anxiety 90%
Action: 1. Get up and go to my room. (where I couldn't hear what was going on) 2. If still stressed then ask for a PRN (in my case, ativan). 3. Journal. 4. Relaxation techniques
I should point out that I was reading the book when the event was happening. My first reaction was to sit there and do nothing, just let my anxiety build. Then I remembered "When life events are beyond your control, take control where you can." I couldn't control the situation (obviously) but I could control what I did about how it was effecting me. :D I was very proud of myself for that.
The reason I wrote this much is because I hope that it helps anyone who reads this. It helped me oh so much! I can't tell you how much! This book, if you can get it, is awesome! I can contact Dr. Rezai and ask her for you if you can't find it (I plan on doing it anyway because I want to get my therapist a copy).
*hugs to all*