Learned Paranoid Thinking.

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Chariot
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:55 pm

Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by Chariot » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:38 pm

Hello everyone. I'm looking for insight regarding an ingrained behavioral pattern. I know this fits into the category of the mind's story. I'm just wanting to see if some extra insight might be of value.

During my youth I was raised in a single parent household by my mother who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. I really didn't become aware of the condition until around age 16 to 18. When you grow up in such an environment it seems normal to you because it's all you know, and you pick up a sort of paranoid perspective from viewing the world through the eyes of your parent.

At age 18, it became increasingly obvious that living with my mother wasn't in my best interest. At this time I met someone and we moved away together. It was as if the universe knew it was time for me to leave so it arranged the next step. After moving out, I began to develop an awareness that my perspective was somewhat distorted. It's been 27 years and I must say I've come along way baby...lol.

The challenge is that now these ingrained patterns seem more subtle. It's as if the obvious stuff is out of the way and what's left is hardwired into my psyche. Sometimes it's even difficult to tell the difference between having a simple preference and whether or not that preference is based on a learned paranoid thought pattern.

For example, I'm out at the store and I have a moment when I don't feel guarded and suddenly a stranger makes a kind comment or friendly chat. During these brief moments I know I'm giving off a completely different vibration that's being read and responded to. It's a state when I feel like I'm being my true self.

Then what sometimes happens is a fear rises up that tells me don't get too comfortable because if they get to know me, they'll reject me once they get wind of this other side of my psyche. Sometimes this happens in a larger general sense with an entire population at a grocery store and I find myself feeling very self conscious. When this happens, I feel like many people are reading my vibration and reacting accordingly, but they are unaware of why I'm feeling guarded.

I hope this makes sense. It's such a recurring issue and I'm sure it's also tied into my painbody as there's sometimes much pain associated with all of this. I know there's an incredible amount of insight here so I thought I'd post an inquiry. Hopefully it's not too out there or abstract sounding.

Thanks... :wink:

mmy
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:45 am

Re: Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by mmy » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:41 pm

Hi Chariot,
Chariot wrote:When you grow up in such an environment it seems normal to you because it's all you know, and you pick up a sort of paranoid perspective from viewing the world through the eyes of your parent.
It seems that way. Although I’m not exactly sure mental illness was in my biological family, I know abuse and dysfunction was. It’s those ingrained, habitual patterns that ultimately need to be seen for what they are.
Chariot wrote:Then what sometimes happens is a fear rises up that tells me don't get too comfortable because if they get to know me, they'll reject me once they get wind of this other side of my psyche.
It’s like we walk around with this shame and feel that we’re exposed and everyone and everything can see and pick that up. Then fear takes over and fear can be habitual, familiar, and so easy to be with, even though it serves no purpose except to keep the stories going. I say let the fear come, confront it, what’s the worst thing that can happen? (standing in the grocery store and everyone is pointing and laughing?) so be it, what you really are is unaffected.

I find Stephan Bodian’s book “Wake Up Now” really good for touching on some key psychological aspects in awakening. The following is from this book.
"At some particularly stressful point in a person’s life history, a part of the self walls itself off to protect itself from what it perceives to be a life-threatening situation. This maneuver may help the psyche survive an abusive or otherwise traumatic childhood, but later the splits may prove difficult to acknowledge and heal.
Because these parts don’t simply rise to awareness once the self-image has shattered, they remain hidden from view and may need to be actively invited and approached. Otherwise, they continue to engage in emotional hijacking, putting forth intense emotions – seemingly from nowhere – that lead to unexpected bouts of contraction and reactivity."

Chariot
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:55 pm

Re: Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by Chariot » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:56 am

"At some particularly stressful point in a person’s life history, a part of the self walls itself off to protect itself from what it perceives to be a life-threatening situation. This maneuver may help the psyche survive an abusive or otherwise traumatic childhood, but later the splits may prove difficult to acknowledge and heal.
Because these parts don’t simply rise to awareness once the self-image has shattered, they remain hidden from view and may need to be actively invited and approached. Otherwise, they continue to engage in emotional hijacking, putting forth intense emotions – seemingly from nowhere – that lead to unexpected bouts of contraction and reactivity."


Thank you. This quote really describes it well.

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Sighclone
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Re: Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by Sighclone » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:07 am

Bodian's book is excellent, thanks, mmy.

If it is any solace, you have come a long way, baby. To even survive in that envirnoment, be able to write coherent, introspective sentences, and be very aware of what's going on in your life is gigantic progress. We pick up scripts very early from our parents and need to do some reparenting. I'd say start with "Born To Win" by James and Jangeward. That will give you a foundation for the source of your early, paranoid scripts. Then you can begin reality-testing your responses to people. It is true that there is a certain level of "risk" in any communication with strangers. It's just true, it's not paranoid. But you need to rewire your antennae so the real risk is separated from the paranoid one.

ReDecision Therapy (RT) is a spin-off from Transactional Analysis. Here is a website: http://www.rochestertherapy.com/redecision-therapy.html which offers an introduction to it. Robert Goulding, MD was the originator. This is not an endorsement of Donna Gould, whose website I have listed -- I do not know anything about her, except that she uses RT.

Good luck. Not every smile is malicious. Someone might not be off-put by learning about the "other side" of your psyche if they know that you are fully aware of it also.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

enigma
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Re: Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by enigma » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:51 am

Almost as a side issue, I find that everybody is far more concerned about how others see them than they are about picking up subtle vibes from others, and even when something is sensed, it usually circles back to the 'me' such that sensing another retreating gets translated into 'there must be something wrong with me'. In that respect, everybody's a bit paranoid. (Generalization)

Chariot
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:55 pm

Re: Learned Paranoid Thinking.

Post by Chariot » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:41 am

Wow! Thanks for the very powerful and spot on insightful replies. It means more than you know. ( or maybe you do... :wink: )

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