Image result for People think you're crazy

 

I believe this quote should begin with, “Abusive People…” as this is just another tool used by abusers to torment their victims.

If I had realized this a long time ago, I would have saved myself a lot of emotional pain and heartache, as this was a favorite weapon my last abuser used, and he used it often. But he was not the only one in my life to use it; I have come to realize, there have been many, very many.

I had opted a long time ago to make my speech more simplistic, easier to understand.  I became conditioned into believing it was my problem, that I had a problem communicating with people because of the words and ideas that spontaneously flowed freely from my lips.  

“Aren’t you fancy with all the those big words?” “What the heck are you talking about?” “You’re talking gibberish.” “That’s not even a word, you’re making it up.” “Where did you hear that  from?” (said in a sarcastic tone) and “Someone told you a pack of lies” were a few of the remarks I’ve gotten throughout my life.  “Who was I” they would say, to use, as my mom lovingly called, “Fifty Cent Words?”. (I’ve always striven to have a vocabulary as extensive as my mom’s).

I’d ask myself, who was I to talk on a myriad of subjects knowledgeably, believing I had a right to speak freely, talking above my station, or being “Uppity,” like some have put it?  

So instead I thought about each word I said  before I spoke, many times missing the opportunity to add to a conversation because I was editing in my mind, what I should and shouldn’t say so as not to offend anyone’s intelligence.  Eventually it became second nature.  I had conditioned myself to not make others feel inferior, never realizing then, that was not MY responsibility.  I had stifled myself​.

I have always been inquisitive. My thirst for knowledge has only rivaled that of my thirst for water; it’s in my nature to be so.  And because of this quote, I will no longer dumb myself down; I will speak freely and spontaneously, (without intentionally harming others), letting my words flow effortlessly, just as everyone else does. I will walk away from those people who belittle me because of their lack of understanding; their lack of knowledge is no longer MY problem.  

There is no need to be embarrassed nor feel inferior for not knowing something.  Ask questions, look things up, Google it, educate yourselves. There is no one that knows everything about everything.  And just because something is not in your sphere of knowledge at this point, that’s no excuse to disparage someone, making them feel crazy, because YOU don’t understand what they are talking about.

Lisa

We thank Lisa, our guest blogger today, for sharing her insights and experience related to Elvis’ quote.  The term we use for this experience is called “gaslighting.”  Gaslighting is manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. It is a form of abuse.

Thanks again, Lisa.  

Peace, John

 

 

Image result for A nail was driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit. ~ Erasmus"

I thought Erasmus was a Greek or Roman and I couldn’t understand because I didn’t think they had nails in those days.  I googled and found out he was a Dutch philosopher in the late 1400s.  That explains his reference to nails, and my lack of understanding about it.  Now, about habits.  I believe the best way to deal with a habit that we don’t like, is to find an opposite, healthier habit and to start practicing it.  Remember, “practice makes habit.”  Also, remember when you’re practicing a new and healthier, opposite habit, you’re not reinforcing the old behavior!  Finally, remember, as you’re developing a new and healthier habit, there’s going to be a period of confusion during the transition.  The old habit will resist because it’s not being reinforced; the new habit is weak.  You are the master of your behavior.  My suggestion, in the midst of this kind of confusion, continue to practice the new habit.  Eventually, the flack will go away.  Super eventually, when the new habit is entrenched, the old behavior will seem strange.  Practice, practice, practice!  Keep pounding the new nail!

Peace, John

I invite you to become a guest blogger.  It’s easy to find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you, or what it means in general.  Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.  If you need some help, I can furnish you with a quote or several to pick from – I have hundreds of them.  Let me know.  

Peace,  John  

 

 

Image result for “You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no”"

Many of us feel guilty if we say “no.”  Do you think they trained, shamed or guilted it out of us when we went through the “terrible twos?”  Have we become such people-persons that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves?  Saying “no” helps define ourselves as separate from others.  It also helps us take care of our needs and wants.  When we say “no,” other people’s reactions/responses are not our responsibility.  We can say no firmly without being caustic or offensive.  We do not need to offer an explanation but, at times, we may.  Remember, we can stay kindhearted!

I have an excellent article on when and how to say “no.”  If you’re interested in receiving it, please send me an email to: jpacheco@personalgrowthconcepts.com with the words “Saying No” in the subject line and I’ll be happy to forward you a copy of it.  Use what you can and leave the rest.

Peace, John

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Image result for "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow."

I often ask clients who are anxious how likely it is, that what they are worrying about, will happen?  This frequently gives them a different perspective.  Shrinking their worry can be helpful.  If you want a different perspective on a long shadow, change your relationship with the light source.  If you want a different perspective with your worry, try coming back to the “now.”  Someone great once said “a lot of awful things happened to me in my life — a couple of which actually occurred!”

Peace, John

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

Image result for a bad attitude is like a flat tire

An attitude is a combination of how you feel and think about something.  It’s different from behavior, although behavior frequently reflects your attitudes.  Poor attitudes are usually the result of negative thinking and a judgment that whatever you’re feeling, you shouldn’t.  Change the tire!  Stop the car, get the jack out & the spare tire, pump up the vehicle, take off the lug nuts, replace it with the spare, tighten it up, lower the car, put all the stuff back in the trunk and get back on the road.  Then remember to repair it lest you get another flat!  What we’re saying is stop what isn’t getting you where you want to go, replace the attitude with healthy thinking and acceptance of whatever you’re feeling, lock it in and get back on the road to wherever it is your headed.  I guarantee the ride will be smoother.

Peace, John

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Image result for “Anger is a mask… It covers up your true feelings like fear, jealousy, frustration, or powerlessness. It’s a way of dealing with the situation when you haven’t processed the real feelings behind it.”

Mask… prevents others from seeing who you are or what’s really going on with you!  Do you want to be disingenuous like this?  I encourage clients who are feeling angry to focus on themselves and find out what the feelings are underneath the anger.  The ones listed above are usually amongst the top ones.  Asking them, and having them identify the feelings underneath the umbrella help them process it.  This usually dissipates the intensity of the anger.  Remember, whatever you are feeling at any point in time is valid and acceptable.  What gets you in trouble may be what you choose to do or not do with the feelings, i.e. react or deny. What have you been doing with your feelings?

Peace, John

I invite you to become a guest blogger.  It’s easy,  find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you, or what it means in general.  Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.  If you need some help, I can furnish you with a quote or several to pick from – I have hundreds of them.  Let me know.   Peace,  John  

 

Image result for “It does not matter what other people say or do. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.” ~Louise Hay

Do you have trouble keeping the focus on yourself?  When you focus too much on others you may be held hostage by what others think or say, particularly about you.  If you’re not clear what you think or feel, you’re apt to be co-opted to going along with the crowd, and losing yourself.  Not a good idea.

I would like to edit Louise’s second statement so that it says: “What matters is how I choose to respond or react….”  When we react, it’s rather impulsive and, usually, without a lot of thinking.  When we respond we usually have thought about our choices and, hopefully make a good decision.  Responding usually takes longer but, in my opinion, has a better chance of success in the long run.

Try this on: “What you think of me is none of my business. What I think of you is none of your business.  BUT, what I think of me is my business AND what you think of you is your business.  SO, let’s stick to business, okay?”

What do you choose to believe about yourself?

Peace, John

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

Image result for my A.D.D. makes it hard for me to focus and focus sounds like hocus-pocus and I really like magical whole lot. abracadabra

A.D.D., Attention Deficit Disorder, comes in three forms: inattentive, hyperactive or combined.  Some people’s brains are wired differently.  The inattentive form has difficulty staying focused on one topic for very long.  The above quote illustrates pretty well the training pattern of the thoughts.  The hyperactive form manifests itself usually in continuous body motion.  That may be hand moving, head movement or feet and legs moving.  The combined type has both.  It’s important to note that ADD is a neuropsychological disorder.  It responds well to both psychotherapy, particularly (cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT) and medication.  It is a challenge to live with A.D.D. in yourself or a loved one.  Don’t be afraid to get evaluated and, if needed, help.

Peace, John

Fellow bloggers,

We recently posted our 400th blog.  Thank you for following us.  I hope you are enjoying them.  Please send me your feedback and, if there are topics you would like covered, let me know.  Have a blessed, healthy and happy New Year!

                                            

Image result for he who has not christmas in his heart

Where is your Christmas? Have you gotten all caught up in the materialism and what’s “under the tree?”  Remember, “the reason for the season.” Christmas is about Spirit, the spirit of giving, the spirit of loving, the spirit of sharing.  Look in your heart — that’s where it resides.

 In gratitude, I wish you peace in who you are, and in all that you do. John

Image result for was it a bad day or"

Do you seem to have frequent bad days? When was the last one? This quote says something about perspective and resiliency, don’t you think? I think sharing about bad times is fine if it’s kept in perspective. Gratitude can help counter the tendency to get stuck in the “badness” of the day. Perhaps you can use “a five minute perspective” on gratitude to help you “snap out of it “when you have another bad episode. And remember….

Image result for so far you've survived 100 of your worst days"Image result for put your positive pants on"

Peace, John

I invite you to become a guest blogger.  It’s easy: find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you, or what it means in general.  Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well. If you need some help, I can furnish you with a quote or several to pick from – I have hundreds of them. Let me know.   Peace,  John  

jpacheco@personalgrowthconcepts.com

Image result for “Addiction is a family disease..” “One person may use, but the whole family suffers.”

I got my start in the alcohol and drug addiction field dealing with family members of alcoholics and drug addicts, and those who grew up in addictive households (ACOAs, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Addicts).  I used to think the active addict was worse than the codependent.  It didn’t take me very long before I changed my mind.  The active addict periodically numbs (medicates) their pain so they get “brief relief.”  As you know, it soon wears off.  On the other hand, family members that don’t choose alcohol or drugs to escape their reality, have the chronic emotional pain, uncertainty, and inability to trust which frequently dogs them their whole life.  Good news is that treatment is available for all.  One needs to persist in seeking treatment, finding the right level of treatment, the right facility and/or the right clinician who understands that addiction is a primary disease and doesn’t seek to treat the symptoms until the core issue is addressed.  Inpatient programs, partial hospital programs, intensive outpatient programs, 12 step programs (AA, Al-anon, and others) and counseling with knowledgeable substance abuse clinicians are all parts of the treatment process.  Persistence also helps although it may be difficult for an addict with her/his ups and downs to persist.  Addicts aren’t bad people; they’re “hurt’in” people who have a disease that is treatable.  If the addict won’t go for help, the family members can heal their woundedness and not perpetuate the addiction. Sometimes this helps the addict get into treatment.

Blessings and peace to those who still suffer from addiction and, to those who have sought and obtained relief in sobriety/abstinence/recovery. John

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To Our Touchpoints Blog Followers,

     I have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. My family, my health, my vocation, my staff and each and every client and former client. I have been freely sharing my ideas on this blog for about seven years now (over 400 blogs!). It’s now time for me to ask a small favor from each of you. Will you consider clicking on and reading the attached link to a Go Fund Me site that my colleagues and I have set up to assist someone who has truly “fallen through the cracks” and is definitely in need. If you can assist in any financial or service way, my heartfelt gratitude. If not, I fully understand and will continue to blog weekly on behalf of your and others’ personal growth.  Prayers and your feedback are also welcome.  Click here or copy and paste into your browser gf.me/u/wihknt – If that doesn’t work, please go to: http://www.gofundme.com and search for “A Single Grieving Mother in Need.”     I also ask you to consider sharing this link on any and all of your social media sites.

 Thank you – I wish you peace in who you are and in all that you do. John

                                             

Image result for “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.” ~Carl Jung

This echoes back to my previous blog a week or two ago about downgrading your expectations to the level of acceptance.  Once again acceptance is the first step.  We have to accept ourselves as we are before we can change things.  Otherwise we are fighting ourselves and self change will be elusive.  Think about it.  What would you like to change?  Don’t you have to acknowledge/accept it the way it is before you can think about how to modify it?  The AA big book has a very famous quote which begins “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today…” Acceptance and powerlessness go hand in hand, don’t you think?   Peace, John

 

 

Image result for “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.” ~Carl Jung

This echoes back to my previous blog a week or two ago about downgrading your expectations to the level of acceptance.  Once again acceptance is the first step.  We have to accept ourselves as we are before we can change things.  Otherwise we are fighting ourselves, and self change will be elusive.  Think about it.  What would you like to change?  Don’t you have to acknowledge/accept it the way it is before you can think about how to modify it?  The AA big book has a very famous quote which begins “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today…”  Acceptance and powerlessness go hand in hand, don’t you think?

Peace, John

I invite you to become a guest blogger.  It’s easy –> find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you, or what it means in general.  Send the quote and your comments to me in an email with the subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well. If you need some help, I can furnish you with a quote or several to pick from – I have hundreds of them. Let me know.   Peace,  John  

 

Image result for “When you learn to accept rather than expect, you’ll have fewer disappointments”

In sessions I frequently catch myself asking clients, “What were you expecting?”  This is usually after they have told me something didn’t go the way they wanted it to and they were feeling upset or frustrated.  Did they set themselves up by expecting something that wasn’t realistic?  What would happen if they had lower, or no expectations?  How hard is it for you to accept what is, and not how you would like things to be?  Acceptance of what is, and of your powerlessness over others is the first step.

Peace, John

 

“Gaslighting is a form of abuse –  someone tries to tell you something didn’t happen when it did, or when a person tries to talk you out of something that actually happened.  They deny reality in order to make you feel crazy, or as if you made it all up.  Abusers use this tactic on their victims to escape accountability of their own actions.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  “Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” ~ [definition taken from the National Domestic Violence Hotline website].

Gaslighting is one form of domestic violence.

I hadn’t known the term “gaslighting” until a year or two ago when an emotionally and verbally abused client taught it to me.  I googled it and read about it.  I was surprised that other clients had shared their experiences of it with me, but not the term.  Someone attempts to alter your recollection of something that happened in an effort to get you questioning your memory and/or sanity.  If they get you spinning around in circles and confusion, they believe you’ll never be able to hold them accountable for what they said or did.  If this persists over time it can wear you down, causing you to doubt yourself and, in the extreme, to have a nervous breakdown.

If you are being physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally abused, reach out and get some help for yourself.  In Connecticut, from a safe place, you can call 211, Infoline, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.  Also, in Connecticut, if you are not in a safe place, you can text 911.  Don’t hang up and the police will locate you.

Peace, John

 

 

 

Image result for “Be who you needed when you were younger!”

If you grew up in an unhealthy or dysfunctional family, chances are you didn’t get some basic needs met.  The lack of consistency, denial of feelings and untruths caused a crippled childhood.  Many are not even aware of the impact such an upbringing has had on their adult lives.  Emotionally crippled adults?  Those who are fortunate enough to have some insight and care enough about themselves and others can repair some of the damage.  It takes time and does not replace the anger, hurt and loss of what you should have had but couldn’t, through no fault of your own.  Healing requires self re-parenting.  Your inner child needs to be nurtured and re-parented.  If this is you or someone you love, I encourage you, or them, to find healthy people to accompany you on the journey.  It is possible and you, and they, are capable!

Peace, John

I invite you to be a guest blogger.  Find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you.  Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.   Peace,  John  

“Stop Expecting YOU from people!”

 

    It may seem obvious to say that we all do things differently, think differently, respond differently. However, that doesn’t seem to keep us from expecting others to do things the way we would do them, think the way we think or respond the way we would respond.

   I often hear from clients “So-and-So said this or did that.” “I would never have said that or done it that way.” Of course, you wouldn’t have! Nor can you expect So-and-So to say or do things your way!

   When we expect others to show up as we would, we end up feeling disappointed when they fail to meet that expectation. What would it be like to accept people when they show up as they are, rather than as our duplicate?   ~ Arden Church

 Our guest blogger today is Arden Church, one of our super clinicians. I always appreciate her writing as she calls into focus situations in our lives that need improvement.  Her insights and ideas certainly help me on my journey.  I hope they help you as well. ~jp

 

 

Image result for “Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.”

Oh, if only it were that easy! The committee is filled with negative projections, i.e. worries about the future, most of which will never eventuate. They like to “gang up” with one another and cause you distress. If you don’t find a way to deal with them, they will deal you. Below is a challenge on your journey to dealing with them. Let me know if you try it and how well it works.

Peace, John

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Image result for i thought i was broken and needs fixing

Broken: A status: Something happened (sudden or over time) – used to be together; now in pieces; not working.  To be “fixed?” Outside –> in?   Maybe.

Hurt: A feeling: Something happened (once or several times) – used to be feeling different; now pain. Can be “healed.” Inside (“with some help from my friends!”)   Better!!

 Peace, John

 

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

 

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