After Decades Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I Know How To Feel Safe

Originally published November 6, 2013.

Republished January 25, 2017 after a web host transfer.

My post traumatic stress disorder began in my horrific childhood. My method of feeling safe may be more effective for people with similar backgrounds. I had to cope with horrific actions from one person. Military veterans, on the other hand, cope with horrific actions from tens, hundreds, or thousands of people. Vets with PTSD from war experiences may need different methods or more than one method for feeling safe. Service dogs, for instance, mean many vets can take less medication and live with fewer unsettling surprises. Service dogs also provide breathing room in social situations, putting themselves between their vet and other people. Vets can use their dogs’ need for walks as a reason to leave when a social situation becomes overwhelming. Service dog organizations include Hero Dogs, K9s for Warriors, Patriot PAWS, and Pets for Vets. Perhaps vets could combine service dogs with finding their safety experience for even greater relief. Victims of crime would have experiences closer to mine, since I am the victim of attempted murder.

Farming is another way for vets to get past their PTSD.

See this article for what civilians can do to help veterans with PTSD. See full citation below.

My PTSD  began the first time my mother tried to kill me. It increased after the second time she tried to kill me. After failing to kill me physically, my mother spent the rest of my childhood doing her best to kill me mentally and emotionally. Decades later I finally understood that my mother wanted me dead because I was her second daughter instead of her first son.

My PTSD was compounded by the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. If Abraham was willing to kill his son because God told him to, I feared my mother would kill me if other people told her to. And then I became terrified that anyone who didn’t like something about me would try to kill me. But after decades of terror that anyone could kill me, I now know how to feel safe. I have a happy ending I never expected.

Murder is a physical and emotional experience. My physical and emotional safety experience — the one that washes away the terror — is listening to the main and end title music from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. To read how I made the discovery of my safety experience and why it is a physical and emotional experience for me, read the Murder Secret Families page at speakingfromtriumph.com. Since I wrote about this in detail on that page, I will not write about it in detail here. But, I will explain what to look for so that other people with PTSD can identify their safety experiences. Below are specific steps to take, but first I will explain what I now know about safety experiences.

Your Safety Experience Will Stand Out in Your Life in Some Way, Maybe in Many Ways

I do not remember when I saw To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. I do know that it immediately became my favorite movie. As an adult, I recorded the movie to my VCR so I wouldn’t have to wait for a television network to air it. Every time I watched the movie, I made sure to listen to the opening music without distraction. After the movie ended, I kept rewinding so I could listen to the end music repeatedly. If you read or at least skim the Murder Secret Families page, you will see that I wrote about watching the movie in my journal repeatedly. I even wrote that I identified with the character Boo Radley, but wanted to be the character Scout (June 12, 1993 on the Murder Secret Families page). Scout survived attempted murder and was able to feel safe again. I survived attempted murder and wanted to feel safe.

Your Safety Experience Will Probably Satisfy a Behavior Style Need

In the DISC behavior system, I am a High I/High S (High I over High S). If you need information about the DISC system, you can download my free S&R Keys file from smilessparksuccess.com. The file also explains six basic values to help you identify your guiding values and rank your other values. Knowing your value ranking could help in identifying your safety experience.

High I people ease stress through socializing with other people. High S people ease stress through quiet activities. High I people are emotionally expressive. High S people are emotionally nonexpressive. I am emotionally expressive when it comes to having fun or telling stories about people who created positive turning points in my life. I can still cry when I tell these stories. One turning point happened in 1981, the other happened in 1996, and I can still cry when I talk about them.

When I need to express my deepest emotions, I do so by writing poetry. Writing poetry is a quiet activity. When I need to reassure myself with positive emotions, I do so through music. Listening to the music that represents positive emotions to me is also a quiet activity. Even though I am a High I first and a High S second, I relieve stress and express my deepest emotions through my Secondary High S behavior style need for quiet activities.

Your Safety Experience Will Add More to Your Life Than Feelings of Safety

In my first few months of feeling safe every day, my life improved in other ways.

First, I have been doing research for years for various books I’m writing and revising. For all those years, I put the various articles I’ve collected into boxes and brown paper bags, letting them sit instead of filing them. I kept thinking about filing them, but never had the energy to do it. After about four months of feeling safe, I suddenly started filing the articles. At first, I filed at least a few articles everyday. Now I file articles weekly. I’m still doing research, but by the time I finish the research everything will be filed. I’ll be able to start writing the revisions without further delay.

Second, I now know how to write each book more effectively. I know how to determine the purpose of each chapter, I know how to use just the right amount of information to make the points in each chapter, and I know how to explain what needs explaining. One of the books is based on what I wrote in my journal about therapy and about the clues in my life that helped me recognize my mother’s attempts to kill me. That is my most difficult book to write. Over the years since I discovered my safety experience, I have refined the structure of the book to satisfy a variety of readers.

Third, I feel safe taking actions for myself in ongoing relationships. Taking actions for myself used to feel scary. If my own mother could kill me, anyone else in the world could kill me.

Fourth, I can meet new people with less anxiety. In the past, meeting new coworkers or supervisors or groups made me anxious that someone would decide to kill me if they didn’t like something about me. The last time I remember feeling that anxious was in the spring of 2014.

Fifth, I have been doing a talk at a conference every year for five or six years. The talk is based on three examples from my own research and how those examples apply to something completely different. For the first several years of the talk, I kept asking myself why I included the first example. It’s a good thing none of the participants ever asked me why I included that example because I could not have explained why. I did not know why I included that example.

After weeks of feeling safe, I suddenly knew why I included that example. It made perfect sense to me and I could easily explain it. The next time I did that talk, I explained my difficulty understanding why I included that example to my audience. When I told them my new understanding of why I included that example, it made perfect sense to them, too.

Identifying Your Safety Experience

To identify your own safety experience, follow these 5 steps:

Step 1

Identify your High and Secondary High behavior styles.
Use the Quick Look pages for behavior styles in my
S&R Keys download from smilessparksuccess.com.

Step 2

Identify your High and Secondary High stress relief needs
on the “Behavior Style Keys for Opening Doors to Personal
& Professional Success” page of the S&R Keys download.

Step 3

Figure out if you ease stress through your High or Secondary
High behavior style, then identify all the activities that ease
your stress.

Step 4

Identify your guiding values using the Quick Look pages in
the S&R Keys download. Rank the remaining values.
Read through the values and think about how each value
affects your feelings.

Step 5

Identify how you express your deepest emotions. Feeling
safe is a deep emotion. If your PTSD is so overwhelming
that you cannot identify any feelings of safety, start with
any positive emotion you can identify.

I talked about being afraid of my mother in therapy with two different therapists. Neither therapist ever asked what made me feel safe. If they had asked, I would not have been able to answer right away. I would have had to think about it, probably for weeks or months. I wasn’t looking for my safety experience when I found it. I was adding different pieces of my favorite music for experiencing feelings to my iPod. I put Mockingbird on my iPod thinking I would listen to it occasionally. Instead, I felt a need to listen to it everyday. I hadn’t even identified the feelings I experienced while listening to Mockingbird. I just knew it allowed me to experience feelings I needed to experience. I finally figured out that Mockingbird meant safety to me one night while I was listening to it. I was sitting in the dark in my parlor, listening to Mockingbird and wondering why I needed to listen to it. I suddenly understood.

My PTSD was part of a terrible secret in my life and in my family. I had to acknowledge feelings of terror before I could acknowledge feelings of safety. It took four decades to acknowledge the feelings of terror. It took another two decades before I learned how to recognize the feelings of safety. But I didn’t have anyone helping me recognize my safety experience. If my therapists had asked what made me feel safe, I would have at least started thinking about it. I could have discovered my safety experience sooner if professionals had given me the help that fit my needs instead of their perspectives.

I hope this blog post is enough to get you to your safety experience sooner.

Make full use of all the downloads you find at smilessparksuccess.com.

After You Identify Your Safety Experience

Once you have identified your safety experience, bring that experience into your life as much as possible. At first, I listened to Mockingbird on my iPod every evening. Then I started listening to it as I fell asleep. I was sleeping the first time my mother tried to kill me. I woke up to my mother trying to smother me. For decades, I had trouble going to sleep and staying asleep. I still have trouble sleeping at times.

On bad days I listened to Mockingbird for hours.

Now I have a playlist that has the main and end titles listed twice. I listen to that just about everyday.

I listen to Mockingbird while reading through the book based on my journal. I can read only a few pages at a time, but I started the book years ago and couldn’t reread it to finish writing it until I discovered my safety experience.

I listened to Mockingbird while writing this blog post.

Each Person with PTSD Has to Identify His or Her Own Safety Experience

I am unable to identify a safety experience for anyone else. Please do not email me with questions because I will not respond. After identifying your behavior style and guiding value combination, think about how your behavior styles and guiding values interact in your life.

Could Safety Experiences Erase PSTD?

If I listen to Mockingbird often enough will it erase my PTSD for good? I don’t know. I do have a chronology of improvement, however.

For decades, terror episodes were so real I didn’t know I was in a terror episode. Some of the terror episodes lasted for days.

After listening to Mockingbird for months, I became able to recognize terror episodes while I was in them. I could listen to Mockingbird to help me get out of them.

Then, I became able to talk myself out of the terror episodes when I wasn’t able to listen to Mockingbird. At first, talking myself out took hours, then dwindled down to minutes.

Almost four years after I started purposefully listening to Mockingbird to feel safe, I have not experienced any terror for almost three years. This is in part due to an experience that happened the last time I felt the terror.

I still do not feel completely comfortable meeting people in certain situations. But I only feel uncomfortable, not anxious.

Even if I someday experience another terror episode, I now know how to feel safe. Knowing how to feel safe is enough for me. I can have days and weeks and months and years of feeling safe. For me, feeling safe for any part of any day is a happy ending.

If you have PTSD, I hope you find your happy ending.

“The amazing grace of Unit 1”
Anna Mulrine
The Christian Science Monitor Weekly
May 30, 2016, pages 21-23

“Can Civilians Do Anything to Help Veterans With PTDS?”
Matthew Russell
The Veterans Site
No Date

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated August 18, 2017

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com.

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Married To Share Life, Or Married To Satisfy Needs?

Originally published August 21, 2011.

Updated and republished September 13, 2015 after a web host transfer.

For thousands of years, people have married each other for all kinds of unromantic reasons — political alliance, financial gain, social climbing, escape from abusive parents, the legal right to stay in a country, etc. Another reason people marry is to satisfy behavior style needs. People who have already found healthy ways to satisfy their own behavior style needs marry to share their lives — their feelings, experiences, and dreams. People who do not know how to satisfy their own behavior style needs often do not know how to share feelings, experiences, or dreams. Three types of marriages are possible:

Both spouses marry to share feelings, experiences, and dreams (sharing life marriage)

One spouse marries to share feelings, experiences, and dreams; one spouse marries to satisfy needs (sharing life/seeking satisfaction marriage)

Both spouses marry to satisfy needs (seeking satisfaction marriage)

Only a sharing life marriage will be good for both spouses. Each spouse wants to share in the other spouse’s feelings, experiences, and dreams. Because they want to share, they pay attention to what matters to each other and make what matters happen. By making what matters happen, they keep each other’s needs satisfied. These spouses marry to share life and benefit from keeping their needs satisfied as well.

In a sharing life/seeking satisfaction marriage, both spouses will be disappointed. The sharing life spouse will feel unloved while the seeking satisfaction spouse will feel unsatisfied.

In a seeking satisfaction marriage, both spouses will feel unsatisfied. Their unsatisfied needs plus the inability to share their spouse’s feelings, experiences, and dreams will damage their marriage.

The following examples illustrate the differences between the three types of marriage. All three couples are real couples who used to be part of my life.

Sharing Life Marriage

The spouses in this marriage are from different racial groups. They shared their feelings, experiences, and dreams through all of their ups and downs. The wife helped the husband cope with the discrimination he endured for their interracial marriage before the Civil Rights era. The wife had been unable to get her driver’s license when she was young, so her husband helped her overcome her fears and learn to drive in her forties. When the husband had to get up at 3:00 a.m. to work long hours an hour’s drive away, the wife got up with him so they could have time together. If one of them did something for the other, the other one responded with the same, as in trading back rubs.

In later years after their finances improved, they shared their dream of traveling far and wide. After decades of the wife having to make do with a very tight budget, the husband made sure to buy her a piece of her favorite jewelry on every trip. As the wife’s health worsened, the husband did more and more of the housework and cooking. He also changed his work schedule to make daily life easier for his wife. This couple will share anything life brings them as long as they have each other. Along the way, they have kept each other’s needs satisfied.

Sharing Life/Seeking Satisfaction Marriage

The husband had dated little when he married to share his feelings, experiences, and dreams. The wife had been far more sociable, but married to satisfy her need to improve her social and financial status. For a time, the wife enjoyed being married to her husband. His career gave her a better social status, though his salary would never be high. After the babies started coming, the husband had to choose a profession that paid more. His new profession lowered the wife’s social status, but there was little she could do about it. The one thing she could do was to make him work extra hours to earn even more money. The husband had expected to share the feelings, experiences, and dreams of his children. Instead, he found himself spending time away from his children in order to satisfy his wife’s need for more and more money.

When their children were older, the wife took a job at a company that allowed her to advance further than her husband had been able to advance. After several years, her salary was greater than his. She had improved her own social and financial status. The husband had to bury his feelings and set aside his dreams because his wife didn’t care about his dreams. She only wanted her husband to work long hours to make as much money as he could. The wife considered herself superior to her husband and felt that he had failed her. The wife did not share in her husband’s feelings, experiences, and dreams. Instead, she punished him by treating him like a servant, expecting him to do whatever she asked. In this sharing life/satisfying need marriage, the unloved husband became an alcoholic and the unsatisfied wife became an abuser.

This is my parents’ marriage.

Seeking Satisfaction Marriage

The man felt his father had never given him approval. He lived across the street from his father and parked a fancy car in his driveway, hoping to prove himself as a man to his father. The woman had an artistic profession that she lost because of a crippling illness. She became depressed and turned to alcohol.

The man and the woman met through the man’s friend, whom the woman was dating. The woman and her boyfriend had a long distance, rocky relationship, and both were alcoholics. When the boyfriend’s drinking led to his sudden death at age 50, the woman threw herself into the man’s arms. Less than three week’s after the death of the man’s friend and the woman’s boyfriend, the man and woman were sleeping together. Within months, they were engaged.

This couple married a year after the friend/boyfriend’s death. The husband married his wife to satisfy his need for his father’s approval. He thought if he married an alcoholic woman and made her happy enough to quit drinking, his father would have to see he was a good husband and give him approval as a man. The wife married her husband to satisfy her need to have someone take care of her while she drank herself to death. She thought that if she acted helpless the husband would have to take care of her.

The husband had stopped drinking and doing drugs years before he met his wife. The wife sweet-talked her husband into drinking again so she could continue drinking herself to death. The husband became abusive to his wife, laughed about the abuse to a friend, and talked about suicide to a friend. Both husband and wife felt unloved.

Neither spouse married to share feelings, experiences, and dreams. The husband stayed focused on his relationship with his father, using his wife as a prop to improve that relationship. The wife stayed focused on herself, using her husband as a caregiver while she drank herself to death. Their use of alcohol and drugs further prevented them from sharing feelings, experiences, and dreams.

What to Do

If you are married and concerned about your marriage after reading this, there is something you can do. Look through the information at smilessparksuccess.com to help you identify and learn how to satisfy your behavior style needs and your spouse’s behavior style needs. If you feel your spouse married you to satisfy his or her needs, your marriage may never give you the sharing you want. But do not immediately decide to end the marriage. Using what you learn about satisfying each of your needs, identify activities you could do with your spouse that would satisfy both of your needs. You will then be able to make an informed decision about how much your spouse is willing to share or not share feelings, experiences, and dreams with you.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Behavior Clues For Romance: Whom To Run From, Whom To Run To

Originally published March 18, 2011.

Updated and republished September 13, 2015.

You can find basic information about DISC behavior styles (including creating shorthand graphs), Spranger guiding values, and relationships at smilessparksuccess.com. You will get the most out of this blog post if you look through that website and read through the free PDF downloads. See page 9 in S&R_Keys for a little background on DISC behavior styles. Any individual behavior style combination is affected by life circumstances, physical health, mental health, and emotional health.

Years ago I filled out a questionnaire that gave me a detailed graph of my behavior style combination. It was not completely accurate, but it was close. Free DISC questionnaires are available online. You should receive at least a partial report with a graph. You probably would have to pay for a complete report. Search for “DISC questionnaires”.

Note that the questionnaires are often described as identifying your “personality”. The originator of DISC behavior styles, William Moulton Marston, called them behavior styles because he used behavior clues to identify them. I use only the phrase “behavior styles”. Anyone can do anything they want with the DISC theory because Marston did not copyright it. He was a fascinating man.

The DISC behavior clues are:

Tone of voice

Frequently used words

Pace of speech and movement

Body language

When you understand your own and other people’s behavior styles, you can identify whom to run from (romantic duds) and whom to run to (romantic dynamos) for romance. Keep in mind that most of the people in the world will be romantic duds for you. Also keep in mind that you will be a romantic dud for most of the people in the world. Since you would like the rest of the people in the world to treat you with respect, remember to treat your romantic duds with respect. Besides, a romantic dud might be your connection to a romantic dynamo.

For a more complete understanding of your romantic duds and romantic dynamos, read the blog post “Value Clues for Romance: Whom To Run From, Whom To Run To”.

Behavioral Factors

Using your relationships with family, friends, and former romantic partners as guides, you can identify your:

Run to behavioral factors for romance

Run from behavioral factors for romance

Neutral behavioral factors

Possible run from behavioral factor combinations

Behavioral issues to work on

I will use my own experiences as examples. My shorthand DISC behavior style graph is High I over High S with Low D over Low C.

I / S
D/C

See page 13 of S&R_Keys for the shorthand graph worksheet.

Run To Behavioral Factors

High I
Relating To Other People

As a High I, I enjoy relating to other people for both fun and accomplishment. I enjoy the fun and spontaneity of other High I’s. I can make decisions to try new things on the spur of the moment. I need people to respect my ideas.

High S
Maintaining A Steady Pace

At times I need the steady pace of a routine I create for myself.

Low D
Cooperating With Other People
I enjoy cooperating with other people to cope with challenges and solve problems.

Low C
Breaking Rules & Procedures
The C on my detailed graph is just below the midline, which means I could go either way on following rules or procedures. Whether or not I follow rules and procedures depends on the situation. I follow rules when I feel respected. I break rules when I feel little or no respect.

My romantic dynamos enjoy relating to others, accept my need for a steady pace, are cooperative, and respect my ideas.

Run From Behavioral Factors

High D
Taking Control
Because of my childhood, control is a sensitive issue for me. My mother tried to kill me physically by smothering me. When that failed, she did her best to kill me mentally and emotionally by telling me I could do or have something I wanted, then taking it away from me at the last minute.

High C
Respecting Authority

My mother controlled our family and made rules that suited her needs and desires. As an adult I am inclined to distrust authority. I reserve the right to decide which authority I will follow and which authority I will ignore, even on a job.

My romantic duds are men who need to control other people or who use their authority for their own gain.

Neutral Behavioral Factors

Low S
Frequent Changes Of Pace
As a High I behavior style I am curious and am willing to take some risks through changes in my life. I do not like frequent change, but I am willing to choose some change.

Low C
Breaking Rules & Procedures
I would get nervous if a Low C wanted to break rules that I believed in following, but the situational quality of my C would mean I would be breaking rules right along with another Low C part of the time.

I do not need to run from or run to romantic possibilities who enjoy change or who break the kind of rules I break.

Possible Run From Behavioral Factor Combination

Low I with High C
Caution with Following Rules
I already have problems with High C’s in romantic partners, but I would have even more problems with a High C and Low I combination. Low I’s are logical, detail oriented, and restrained. All of those qualities could fit well with my Secondary High S qualities of being meticulous, easy going, and patient. However, High C’s like to control their surroundings. One way they control their surroundings is by creating their own rules and procedures for personal relationships. The Low I tendency to be cautious about relationships and the High C need for personal rules and procedures is a run from combination for me.

Some of my failed attempts at friendships and friendly working relationships were with people who had Low I’s and High C’s in their behavior combinations. They responded to my friendly words and actions with cautious suspicion which increased each time I did not follow whatever rules they had for creating friendships. At times I felt I would have to cut off parts of myself to be acceptable just for a friendship or a friendly working relationship. A good relationship with a High C and Low I combination would be possible only if the individual understood behavior style differences.

Behavioral Issues to Work On

With S as my Secondary behavior style, I want parts of my life to be steady and dependable. High S people are also reserved about their feelings. At times I avoid confrontation when I’m afraid it will lead to change I don’t want. I’ve often avoided talking to friends and family about anything that upset me. I should have found a way to talk.

For instance, my siblings treated me like a trespasser in their lives for decades before I walked away. If I had been able to point out my trespasser status whenever it became obvious, my relationship with my siblings might have improved. My siblings and I live in different parts of the country. My second brother visited my other siblings, but never visited me. When I found that out I could have asked him when he would be able to visit me. The issue of his treating me like a trespasser would then be in the open and my brother would have to say or do something about it.

Given their history of ignoring me, my siblings may just have continued to ignore what I said. But I would have had a better chance of a decent relationship with my siblings if I had been willing to risk talking about being left out before it was obviously too late.

I also had trouble talking about my feelings to my husband. He was another secondary High S who avoided confrontation. If I had made comments about my feelings on small issues, he may have developed the ability to talk about his feelings on small issues. Being able to talk about the small issues would have helped us talk about the big issues. Instead, we hid our feelings from each other. Our combined avoidance of confrontation only added to the pain of our mental and emotional sores (see below).

In any relationship, I need to take the risk of confrontation before the relationship gets so bad that it has to end.

Emotional Traits

Using your relationships with family, friends, and former romantic partners as guides, you can identify your:

Run to emotional traits for romance

Run from emotional traits for romance

Neutral emotional traits

Possible run from emotional trait combinations

Emotional issues to work on

Run To Emotional Traits

High I
Trusting
Because I am a High I who tends to trust other people quickly, I want other people to trust me as quickly as I trust them.

Low D
Slow Anger Fuse
Because I have a slow anger fuse, I am most comfortable with other people who have slow anger fuses.

At the beginning of this post, I wrote this: “Any individual behavior style combination is affected by life circumstances, physical health, mental health, and emotional health.” For decades, I went through periods of overwhelming stress from my inability to cope with my memories of my mother murdering me. When I felt that overwhelming stress, I could get angry very quickly.

My romantic dynamos are trusting and slow to get angry.

Run From Emotional Traits

High D
Fast Anger Fuse
My mother is High I over High D. The fast anger fuse of my mother’s secondary High D behavior style is definitely a run from trait for me. I lived in terror of her anger, fearful that she might try to kill me again. I need to avoid relationships where bursts of sudden anger are likely.

Low I
Skeptical
My mother and siblings have been skeptical of what I say about myself for my entire life. I refuse to tolerate more skepticism on a frequent basis.

My romantic duds get angry quickly and are skeptical.

Neutral Emotional Traits

Low S
Expresses Feelings Easily
High I’s are talkative people who can talk about their emotions. This makes the Low S easy expression of emotions neutral for me.

High C
Fearful Of Breaking Rules
The High C’s fear of breaking rules is neutral for my romantic relationships because I feel fearful of breaking rules with an authority figure who respects me.

Low C
Fearless About Breaking Rules
The Low C’s fearlessness about breaking rules can make me nervous at times, but it is not enough to make me run from the relationship.

Even though the High C emotional trait is neutral for me, the High C behavioral factor is negative for me. I still need to run from behavioral combinations with controlling High Cs. I do not need to run from combinations with fearless Low C.

Possible Run From Emotional Trait Combination

High S with Low D
Nonexpression with Slow Anger Fuse
My father was a High S with a Low D in his behavior style combination. He was nonexpressive, avoided confrontation, and had a slow anger fuse. My mother abused him emotionally, even in front of us children at times. Anger at various stresses in his life —  especially my mother’s abusiveness — would build up until he could not hold it in any longer. The resulting explosion could go on for days and left me terrified. My father became a quiet alcoholic as a way of burying his emotions as far as he could, which only made the inevitable eruptions worse.

Nonexpressive High S’s and slow anger fuse Low D’s are romantic dynamos for me only if they know how to express their anger in healthy ways.

Emotional Issues To Work On

I am a quick to trust High I with a close to the midline C tendency to distrust authority at times. I have trusted romantic partners too quickly and distrusted authority too quickly.

To end my tendency to trust too quickly, I should pay attention to the times I have created trust with others. I had a good relationship with a High S boyfriend, though our behavior style combinations did not match well enough for lasting love. High S’s can be slow to trust. I was able to create an atmosphere of trust with him that allowed him to express things he rarely told anyone. Despite the difficulties we eventually had, I am proud of the trust I was able to create for him, a trust I will never betray.

When I think back on the trust I created for my High S boyfriend, I can see now that it developed over time through my willingness to show I respected him and cared about his feelings. Instead of leaping into trust for someone in any kind of new relationship, I need to make sure they show me the same respect and concern I showed my High S boyfriend. Taking time to look for respect and concern will give me a better chance of creating relationships with people who value my trust.

To end my tendency to distrust authority too quickly, I should pay attention to the reasons I distrust authority. Doing so will help me identify which clues indicate an authority who cannot be trusted and which clues indicate an authority who can be trusted.

Since my distrust of authorities stems from my relationship with my mother, that relationship provides me with the clues for authorities I should not trust. My mother said one thing, but did another. The face she showed to other people was different from the face she showed to me. She rarely asked about my personal experiences, my feelings, or my ideas.

Therefore, I should distrust an authority who tells me one thing but does another, who shows a different face to other people than the one they show to me, and who never asks about my personal experiences, my feelings, or my ideas. I should trust an authority who does the opposite of what my mother did. I should trust an authority who either does what they say they will do or explains to my satisfaction why they did not do what they said they would do, who shows the same face to me that they show to other people, and who asks about my personal experiences, my feelings, and my ideas.

Change Is Possible

While I believe that my run from and run to behavioral factors and emotional traits are unlikely to change, I do think change is possible. Under the right circumstances and with the right people, your run from behavioral factors and emotional traits could become less of an issue. But you need to be aware of your run from behavioral factors and emotional traits before you can recognize the circumstances and people who could bring about the change.

Mental & Emotional Sores

Decades before I knew anything about DISC behavior styles, I married a man whose shorthand behavior style graph was the same as mine — High I over High S with Low D over Low C. This match could have been considered perfect. Our relationship was not perfect. We both had mental and emotional sores from our childhoods that created all kinds of pain for us. My husband tried to forget his pain with drugs and alcohol. I separated my memories of being murdered into disconnected physical, mental, and emotional pieces. Because the pain forced us to focus on our sores, we could not focus on each other. If we had known about DISC behavior styles when we met, we would have known how to satisfy our behavior style needs. We would have had more and more fun as the years passed. Since we both respected each other’s ideas, we would have helped each other be successful. But we didn’t know about DISC behavior styles and my husband’s emotional and mental sores became too much for him. He killed himself.

Decades after my husband died, I erased all the emotional pain from my childhood by taking ten minutes a day to satisfy my secondary High S behavior style need for quiet activities. (See Essential Success at smilessparksuccess.com.) My husband would have had to satisfy a different emotional need to heal his emotional sores, but he could have done it had he known enough to do it. I could have helped satisfy that need, too, had I known enough to do it.

Using the PDF downloads at smilessparksuccess.com, take time to make yourself smile. Take time to make your loved ones smile. Those smiles can spark the success of healing mental and emotional sores that keep people focused on their pain instead of on each other.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

If John Lennon Wanted Peace, Why Did He Create Conflict?

Originally published January 28, 2011.

Republished September 2, 2015 after a web host transfer.

John Lennon advocated peace, but did not live peace. John Lennon repeatedly created conflict with individuals in his own life. All of the following references come from the book, John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman.

Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, described him as needing to “shock and disgust people” (page 158).

Lennon had a “sarcastic tongue” and an “impulse to pillory human weakness or frailty wherever they revealed themselves”. Lennon targeted people with “cruel, usually pointless” practical jokes (page 182).

Lennon repeatedly mocked Stu Sutcliffe’s “musicianship and appearance” and made sure Stu always sat on the least comfortable seat on the van, “the metal ledge over the rear wheel”. Lennon repeatedly told Sutcliffe “he couldn’t sit with us or eat with us” (page 183).

Lennon shoplifted “jewelry, handkerchiefs, guitar stings, and a harmonica” (page 195).

During a concert in Germany, Lennon taunted his audience with the words “fuckin’ Nazis” and Hitlerites” (page 202).

Lennon called Brian Epstein “Eppy”, a name he knew Epstein hated and “wouldn’t care what he said to deflate” Epstein (page 257). Lennon’s “public cruelties” towards Epstein included “jibes at his race if not his sexuality” (page 503).

While in Germany, Lennon drew a picture of Jesus on the cross “with this big prick”. Lennon held up his picture on a balcony for everyone on the street to see (pages 267-268).

Again in Germany, Lennon put a table knife into his pocket after a meal. During a concert that night, “the first thing he does is pull out the knife and throw it at someone in the audience” ( pages 291-292).

Paul McCartney felt “bitterness” that Lennon made sure the songs they wrote together after the Please Please Me album would always be credited to “Lennon-McCartney” (page 297).

At a party to celebrate Paul McCartney’s twenty-first birthday, Lennon “repeatedly” punched DJ Bob Wooler “around the face and body”. Wooler suffered “bruised ribs and a black eye”. Lennon apologized under pressure, “muttering that he wasn’t sorry at all” (pages 310 and 311).

Alcohol could turn Lennon “moody, bellicose, cruel”. Even when sober Lennon could be “thoughtlessly malicious” (page 331).

Lennon’s attitude towards people with physical disabilities was “unrepentant mockery and mimicry” (page 334).

Lennon described George Harrison’s massively successful All Things Must Pass” album as “All right”. He described Paul McCartney’s McCartney album as “rubbish” and “so poor” (page 657).

In Paul McCartney’s Ram album, the song “Too Many People” suggested that Lennon had rejected the Beatles for Yoko Ono (page 668). On his Imagine album, Lennon included the song “How Do You Sleep?” in response to McCartney’s “Too Many People”. Biographer Philip Norman described McCartney’s attack as “mild and sidelong”. Norman described Lennon’s response as “violent and full-on, a nuclear missile answering a pinprick” (671-672).

In an interview Paul McCartney did with United Kingdom magazine Melody Maker, he said Lennon was the holdout to resolving their financial disputes. Lennon responded with a letter to the editor. Nine lines in the letter had to be removed “for fear of legal repercussions” (page 702).

Lennon spent time in Los Angeles where he wrote about his “gratuitous vandalism” in his diary (page 743).

John Lennon talked about peace but created conflict because he was in conflict with himself. He would have been able to create peace in his life only if he had been able to create peace with himself. If Lennon had understood his behavior style needs and how to satisfy them, he could have created some peace for himself.

Using the DISC behavior system, John Lennon was probably a High I. He enjoyed the spotlight when it satisfied his needs. He liked to talk, talking to reporters for hours during his first bed-in with his new wife, Yoko Ono. He used words to attack people when he felt stressed.

High I behavior style people like Lennon need recognition, approval, and admiration. They need to feel prestige. They need to maintain their dignity. They need support for their ideas.

Lennon could have gained peace with himself in two ways. First, he could have acknowledged the conflict he created and apologized for creating it. He could have figured out ways to work with people without sarcasm or insults.

Second, other people could have satisfied his needs. Concert audiences could have shown respect for Lennon by listening while he played his music, waiting to scream while they applauded. Audience members unable to sit quietly could have sung along with Lennon. Listening to Lennon would have preserved his dignity. Singing along with him would have shown support for the ideas behind his songs. That dignity and support would have given him prestige. Instead, Lennon’s continuously screaming audiences stripped him of his dignity, ignored his ideas, and denied him prestige for his ideas.

One tragedy of John Lennon’s life is that he did not have what he needed to be able create what he wanted. Fame did not satisfy Lennon’s needs. Wealth did not satisfy Lennon’s needs. Screaming audiences did not satisfy Lennon’s needs. John Lennon did not have the behavior style satisfaction he needed to be able to create the peace he wanted..

You can avoid the same tragedy in your life. Give yourself what you need so you have the ability to create what you want. Give your loved ones what they need so they have the ability to create what they want.

Visit smilessparksuccess.com for pages of information about satisfying DISC behavior style needs as well Spranger guiding value passions. Take advantage of the free PDF downloads for sparking both personal and professional success.

We could all create more of the peace John Lennon imagined by satisfying our own needs.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com