Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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fun-and-fear
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Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Post by fun-and-fear » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:47 pm

While younger, I would tell personal stories from a neutral perspective - that they're over and dealt with. People felt I was a trusting source to let out their experiences. It felt right at the time. I never felt I had to speak to anyone to get over my personal experiences, and rarely did.

A long time has passed, and though meditation is a part of my life now, I have much more trouble emotionally processing certain things. I'm still not very open to people, and there's this nagging feeling that I want pity if I bring up certain past experiences. It's an immediate building of trust, and I'm unsure if it's bad to want to abuse this?

At what point can I use others as a catharsis? Some days it wouldn't feel wrong at all - when the mind is well and it seems like a distant experience. Others, it's overwhelming and feels like I want something from others..

Sorry for the poor articulation of the problem. Hopefully it's understood.

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cooran
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Re: Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Post by cooran » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:39 pm

Hello fun-and-fear,

I would contact a Social Worker, Psychologist or Counsellor and have regular sessions with them.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

celso
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Re: Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Post by celso » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:51 pm

Hi fun-and-fear,

I can relate to what you described (if I understand it well). Looking back, I've come to realize that I often tried to gain sympathy from others by telling them about (legitimate) hardships I had to endure here and there. It was all about validation, trying to compensate for all the past hurt, I guess.

Today, besides being more mindful of my actions, the intentions behind them and their probable consequences, I try to apply the dhammic principle of not being burdensome to others and to see that they all have their turmoils, pains, troubles etc., just like I do. Their dukkha is as actual as mine.

I've found that replacing the need to seek understanding with offering support, help, encouragement, advice etc. to others has a much more fulfilling effect on me than the catharsis I could possibly feel from being understood and validated. All this 'I-making' really does seem like a heavy load now, all complications unending.

In this sense, avoiding to add a 'me' to past or present events has been a most liberating experience. I try to regard them as phenomena that came to be, independently of any entity behind the experiences. Not always successfully, still as a frame of reference it's really useful.

Well, that's what has worked for me, I hope it can be of some benefit to you. It's simply an account of one person's personal experience, take it with a boulder of salt. And please do seek help from people who care about you / people you trust if you find yourself unable to deal with this on your own.

Take good care.

binocular
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Post by binocular » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:04 am

fun-and-fear wrote:At what point can I use others as a catharsis?
Relying on any external factor (whether it's people or drugs, for example) for catharsis is tricky as such sources of reliance have the tendency to become unreliable. For a while, they work fine, but at some point, not anymore. Which is why it's better to develop inner skills for release from suffering.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

dhammarelax
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:59 pm

Re: Telling of a past traumatic experience in order to connect and build trust

Post by dhammarelax » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:23 pm

fun-and-fear wrote:While younger, I would tell personal stories from a neutral perspective - that they're over and dealt with. People felt I was a trusting source to let out their experiences. It felt right at the time. I never felt I had to speak to anyone to get over my personal experiences, and rarely did.

A long time has passed, and though meditation is a part of my life now, I have much more trouble emotionally processing certain things. I'm still not very open to people, and there's this nagging feeling that I want pity if I bring up certain past experiences. It's an immediate building of trust, and I'm unsure if it's bad to want to abuse this?

At what point can I use others as a catharsis? Some days it wouldn't feel wrong at all - when the mind is well and it seems like a distant experience. Others, it's overwhelming and feels like I want something from others..

Sorry for the poor articulation of the problem. Hopefully it's understood.
Try to develop loving kindness towards yourself and towards others, here is a guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8OHmN4pmCQ
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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