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.

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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