May 18

“Whole Again” After Abuse: Jackson McKenzie Quotes

Contained within Jackson McKenzie’s 2019 Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse are strong quotes to help you heal. The following are some I’ve selected.

Note: References to C-PTSD below are about complex PTSD. See this link or this one if you’re unfamiliar with the diagnosis.

You’re so preoccupied with trying to make sure you’re reasonable and seeing all perspectives that you fail to throw in the towel when people are blatantly mistreating you. Oftentimes you notice something seems “off” for the longest time, but you feel guilty and dismiss it because the person is nice to you, or because they aren’t rejecting you.

…(T)he best gaslighting victims are those who doubt themselves.

Their partner can say and do unacceptable things on a daily basis, which the codependent will try to explain and understand (“they had a difficult childhood!”). But the moment codependents make a single mistake, they berate themselves for it, obsess over it, and wonder if they’re crazy. For this reason, they come up short in relationships, over and over again. Because they’re unable to recognize that the balance is skewed, and unable to recognize that they’re not getting what they deserve from a healthy relationship. Their self-doubt keeps things forever skewed in their partner’s favor.

How to Win Against an Abuser? I get this question all the time, and my answer is always the same: Don’t try to win. As soon as we engage in this win/lose mentality, we abandon our hearts and forget what’s really important: vulnerability and love. Yes, absolutely you should remove toxic people from your life, but it should be from the perspective of self-love, not “winning.” As long as we maintain this false illusion of control, we’re still connected to the person in our psyches. A hallmark of C-PTSD is fantasizing about gaining some power over an otherwise powerless situation.

If at any point your forgiveness process convinces you to invite an abuser back into your life (or even talk to them), this is not the kind of forgiveness we’re looking for. It will actually impede your own progress.

People cannot go from abusing and manipulating you one day, to magically being healed a week later. This is simply impossible. Especially when this change occurs as a response to possible abandonment or rejection, there’s just no chance this is authentic change.

Codependent forgiveness is this fantasized tear-filled beautiful reconciliation where everything is magically cured by love and compassion. As with most codependent issues, it’s focused on other people. Their problems. Their childhood. Their past. You think you understand them so much, maybe even more than they understand themselves! You make up excuses and reasons for them, your heart melts, you take them back, and then they hurt you again.

C-PTSD sufferers who experienced abuse may engage in mental arguments with their abusers long after the abuse has ended. Most people with C-PTSD experienced ongoing abuse from someone (or multiple people) who repeatedly betrayed their trust, and blamed them for this betrayal. They were made the scapegoat of someone else’s shame, which eventually caused them to absorb this shame themselves.

Dysfunctional Healing Approach: C-PTSD causes the sufferer’s thinking to become very rigid and analytical. This was (at some point) a necessary survival skill in order to identify threats and stay safe. However, once the threat is over, those with C-PTSD may still have a lot of trouble “feeling” emotions, and may end up trying to “think” them instead. As they begin recovery, they are likely to use this same analytical and rigid thinking against themselves, embarrassed or impatient by their inability to get in touch with their own feelings. They are also likely to have an extremely negative reaction to the idea of forgiveness, equating that with “letting them win,” and seeing forgiveness as something that abusers use to keep hurting victims.

Jan 15

Life Changes to Make in 2019: 3 New Books

For making life changes in 2019, presented below are three brand new books by authors Jean Case, Jackson McKenzie, and Ruby Warrington on topics of goal achievement, healing from traumatic relationships, and reducing your possibly too-high intake of alcohol.

I. Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose by Jean Case

From the publisher: “When National Geographic Chairman Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change makers, past and present, from inventors to revolutionaries, she found five surprising traits all had in common. They weren’t wealth, privilege, or even genius…”

So, what were they? Below are excerpts from Case’s website regarding the five traits:

  1. Make Big Bets & Make History: “…history-making transformation happens when people strive for revolutionary change.”
  2. Be Bold, Take Risks: “…Risk taking isn’t a blind leap, but a process of trial and error.”
  3. Make Failure Matter: “No one seeks out failure, but if you’re trying new things, the outcome is uncertain…”
  4. Reach Beyond Your Bubble: “…Great and original solutions come from engaging with people with diverse experiences to forge unexpected partnerships.”
  5. Let Urgency Conquer Fear: “Don’t overthink it…”

II. Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse by Jackson McKenzie  

Jerold Kreisman, MD:

In Whole Again, Jackson MacKenzie lays open some of his own personal wounds to advise on how scars from past traumas can heal. He describes how development of a ‘protective self’ can provide acute, numbing relief from emotional pain, but at the expense of more enduring self-acceptance. MacKenzie addresses co-dependency, addiction, post-traumatic stress, and borderline, narcissistic, and other personality disorders, outlining pathways to achieve forgiveness and discharging shame. This book may help fill in the holes that can make you whole again.

III. Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol by Ruby Warrington  

States the publisher, “It’s the nagging question more and more of us are finding harder to ignore, whether we have a ‘problem’ with alcohol or not…”

In a related headline Cosmo declaresGetting Sober Curious Is the New Dry January. An excerpt from the article:

Instead of skipping booze ­altogether, sober-curious peeps question why they’re drinking in the first place and zone in on how it makes them feel…and that usually leads to ­cutting way back on their regularly scheduled sauce…

To go sober curious, all you have to do is start questioning and cutting back on your drinks, says Warrington.

Interested in making your own life changes this year? Click on the links for further info.