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Author Topic: When it was 100% true in the past...  (Read 1296 times)

mac

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When it was 100% true in the past...
« on: October 29, 2017, 03:02:40 PM »
Hi everyone,

I've been continuing to enjoy Belief Blasters but have hit a new obstacle.

I'm wondering what to do with a belief that was completely true in the past--because my brain gets very bothered by the idea that it wasn't true or that I picked it up from somewhere because it *was* true and I needed it. My parents are both pretty severely mentally ill and I adapted to that with a lot of beliefs that I don't need as an adult, but genuinely did need to stay safe as a child.

(For instance, one that doesn't feel too personal to share is, "I had to protect my treasures." The minute my parents knew something was important to me, they were going to get rid of it, so I had to always pretend that nothing was important to me, which as an adult has made it hard for me to really genuinely like my possessions / get attached to things and people. It's funny how this can actually be hard--if I can't let myself ever like a pair of shoes, I have no motivation to replace shoes that are worn out because they don't matter to me, as just a small silly example.)

There are a couple of beliefs that are very sticky in this respect that pertain to specific abuse that when I try to tackle, my brain shouts back at Tim, "It's true, though!" because it was true. There's no small crack in that. In the past, it was 100% true. (Whereas in the present, it's not true anymore.)

I was hoping to get a little space with these by repeating the track again on the same belief, but I've done that several times and it doesn't feel even a tiny bit shifted.

So I'm wondering, for those beliefs that were 100% true in the past, has anyone found a useful Belief Blasters hack for that?

Thank you!

Paul

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Re: When it was 100% true in the past...
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 06:23:33 PM »
Hi Mac,

Thank you for posting.

To best illustrate the points I will be making, I would find it useful to know the specific beliefs you hold as true or are working through. However, I appreciate you may not feel comfortable doing that, so I can talk around this (as it were).

Even if something was 100% objectively true (and that is a tall order), then you could certainly eliminate the belief. Something may be "100% true" at one time, but not at other times or for different people. An example might be "People are out to hurt me" being modified to "people were out to hurt me." That may have been your truth and it populated your mind model.

However, even something like this could not be objective truth, as you do not know for sure if all people were out to hurt you. We form abstractions about the world - "people can't be trusted" - but we could not test this categorically. Such beliefs are formed based on relatively limited interactions.

"I had to protect my treasures" does seem more like a consequence of other experiences and beliefs than an actual cause. It was possibly a survival strategy and something you did to counteract your parents' behaviour. I suspect there are many layers to this.

I suggest trying to connect with how you would have felt at that time and what you would have believed about your parents, life and yourself when your items were taken away from you.

Try to connect to why you have/had to protect your treasures. What is or was your worst-case scenario?

Thus, you could come up with 4-5 counterexamples for each of your beliefs (a la the PSTEC Negative instructions).

You also have the unique advantage of connecting with the beliefs; they felt true. The process will still work.  It is not about denying your past experience , but re-interpreting it. You are leaving the belief in the past, so it is no longer part of your present mind model.

Paul  :)
Paul McCabe - PSTEC Master Practitioner
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Please contact me anytime if you want any assistance in utilising PSTEC to help you live a life of tremendous freedom & possibility.

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mac

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Re: When it was 100% true in the past...
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 01:15:56 PM »
Thank you, Paul! That gives me a lot of food for thought.

I guess since this is all anonymous, I may as well share the specific belief. I was sexually abused by an adult family member as a child and as an adult have avoided men completely. The handful of times I've dated, the men I've met have been pretty legitimately crazy (one had a meltdown when I was busy on the day he wanted to have a date--it was my best friend's birthday and he and I had been on one date and he outright accused me of cheating on him which made zero sense since we'd only had one date) and that's sent me right back into avoidance.

But I'm ready to get rid of that and be in a healthy relationship, so I'm trying to process everything that seems to be getting in my way.

So, I've been tackling a bunch of stuff around trying to not be attractive to men, and the belief that came up that I can't seem to get around was, "I didn't want to be sexually desired by men." Using that belief, it brings up all of that victim blaming that I internalized--that it was my fault, that somehow I'd seduced the relative, that he'd been powerless because I wanted him to desire me... But the thing is, I'm ready to let go of it, because although I don't know that I'd like being sexually desired by men at large, I do want to be comfortable being sexually desired by a partner. So, it's a belief that was 100% true in the past, and the past tense seems to be hanging me up in a way because it feels like saying it's not true or "rubbish" means I did want those attentions.

It seems, though, that there would be a lot of times when people have formed a belief based on something that genuinely was true in the past (whether because of honest limitations of being a child or something else).

Paul

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Re: When it was 100% true in the past...
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 05:16:40 AM »
Hi Mac,

Thank you for sharing your story.

I appreciate how traumatic the sexual abuse you experienced will have been and that your dating experiences have definitely been traumatic for you. You are safe here and I am confident your posts here will help others.

I think there is an important distinction to make: not wanting to attract men is an understandable desire coming from your experiences. However, attractiveness is not what caused anything to happen to you. You may, however, have a belief like "it's dangerous to be attractive."

This is quite a common pattern, where victims of physical or sexual abise blame themselves. It is not helped by certain views espoused in the media and the fact, as we have seen recently, certain "powerful people" abuse those "powers" to take advantage of others. Sadly, the victims of these abuses can often feel guilty, ashamed or responsible for what happened to them. Indeed, many people suffer in silence and with tremendous amounts of shame.

So, I would recommend utilising the Click Tracks to work through the traumas and the shame. It will be incredibly liberating for you.

"I didn't want to be sexually desired by men" is more of a consequence of what happened. It was an accurate description of how you felt and perhaps even how you feel.

To give an example of this: if someone is attacked in the street, they may suffer PTSD and then not want to leave the house (through fear of the same thing happening). Perhaps they stay indoors for a whole month. Well, "I don't want to leave the house" is a fair description of how they feel. It is the consequence of their fear and beliefs that have formed from the attack.

In this example, blasting "I didn't want to leave the house" may not do a great deal to the person's experience.

To resolve this, they would be best finding the beliefs that are "keeping" them in the house. These may be centred more around danger, trust and negative expectations.

So, I suspect that you would benefit more from discovering the beliefs that helped provide that "fear of being attractive" conclusion. Beliefs like "It was dangerous to go on a date", "I was to blame for what happened", "Men couldn't be trusted" and others are more likely to be feeding the pattern.

I would also recommend coming up with some alternative interpretations for those beliefs. For instance, "those men couldn't be trusted, but it doesn't mean all men couldn't be trusted.", "the abusers were to blame for what happened and it could have happened to anyone" etc. You could add lots of these.

In actual fact, those situations were nothing to do with how attractive you were. It had everything to do with people taking advantage of situations.

Personal responsibility is important, of course, but when it comes to abuse...you were absolutely not at fault and I know that PSTEC can help you resolve those issues (and many more).

Please let us know how you get on and feel free to contact me personally, as I am always happy to help.

Paul
Paul McCabe - PSTEC Master Practitioner
http://www.lifestyleforchange.com

Please contact me anytime if you want any assistance in utilising PSTEC to help you live a life of tremendous freedom & possibility.

Recreate yourself with PSTEC.

Skype, Zoom, in-person & phone sessions available.


 



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