...energy, and energy is everything.
A former employer of mine used to say, we are simply a series of chemical reactions. I partially agree with this sentiment and have heard various forms of the same concept over my lifetime.
I often reflect on how the physical laws, also called scientific laws or laws of nature, dictate not only our environment but our behavior. This is because our behavior is influenced and shaped by our environment from conception to death. Thankfully our minds have a reset button and once activated, neuroplasticity allows us to re-write our brain structures to reflect healthier neuro-patterns and cognition which leads to better behavior. Self-motivation is the key to change for the better.
I often wonder if others consider the definition of a physical law which is "a scientific generalization based on empirical observations of physical behavior" (as defined by a quick search through a popular search engine which provided a generic response through a popular online user generated encyclopedia, for what it's worth), as it relates to their own physical behavior. I have my own generalizations which are based on empirical observations of physical behavior as they apply to defining personal experience with disordered individuals. In society, we are all disordered. This disorder falls on a spectrum of functionality dependent on the pathology of the disease. Some are healthier than others, but we are all sick. It's about time we begin to heal ourselves.
Currently, and for the past couple years, I have embarked on a journey through the higher education system. Unfortunately, this journey has been thwarted by various life circumstances which created unnecessary hardship for me and the children in my care. As of March this year, I am offically back on track to academic success and beginning to move beyond survival to enjoy living my life. Because my family is no longer trapped in the bottom tier of the hierarchy of needs model, I am able to ponder and attempt to express the deeper questions I have considered for some time.
The first question which often comes to mind is whether others relate the physical law stating every action has an equal and opposite reaction with the theory which claims that we are all simply chemical reactions, and the concept of relation between these two thoughts to our physical behaviors. Additionally, I wonder if others recognize that our consious and unconsious reaction is a series of associations created through the recollection of events which dictate our response. These associations are dependent on the conclusions we've created with the knowledge available at the time of the event and the expectation we have for ourselves. Our expection of ourselves is determined through social conditioning and is projected onto others in an attempt to control our environment and know what to expect from it. Our response is dictated by what has happened to us, and how much control we had in determining the security of our life over death, or harm. How secure we were made to feel as a child reflects in our insecurities as an adult.
Over the course of my life, I have studied extensively medical sciences such as physiology and neurology in addition to psychology. During these years of amateur study I have concluded that physical laws may be applied to my behavioral studies as well.
This post may feel a bit like rambling because I am still working out the theory as it applies to my understanding and writing helps me to do that. Additionally, I am synthesizing the concepts and vocabulary from my studies into experiences in my daily life.
I believe higher education is simply a means to secure documented credibility for the knowledge I've acquired through self-education. As a child and teenager, I was often bored in public school and the system was a failure up until seventh grade when I finally received recognition as a gifted student, minus the documentation. Unfortunately, we left the school district which had the funding and motivation to support my educational pursuits for another which was derelict. I gave up any chance of a high school diploma instead using my remaining educational years surviving domestic abuse through writing, and escaping into every book available in the tiny town library.
Many of my life and social theories come from applying empirical concepts to practical knowledge and anecdotal experiences. As a social "scientist" I seek to disprove my theories through literature, peer review, and social experimentation. I am often my own guinea pig and have plenty of scars from my failures.
I gauge my success through the success of my offspring to overcome multigenerational abuse and poor social conditioning. Their success in life is my only desire. If, through the sharing of this knowledge, I may be able to influence others in overcoming the same poor conditions, I may consider this a secondary success as well. I encourage others to sterilize themselves against reproduction in an attempt to decrease the effects of multigenerational abuse on vulnerable children. Other posts are devoted to discussing the conception of my children through rape and domestic abuse, and my decision to have a fourth child. Any comments related to this decision and vhemt views will be deleted on this entry to preserve the discussion for the topic of brain chemistry, trauma, surviving ACEs, as well as errors within the argument.
My current theory is that each social action we take has an equal and opposite social reaction created by our social environment (or interaction). I've come to understand that the opposite reaction can be expected to fall within socially acceptable responses only if the individual is socially conditioned to respond appropriately. Maladaptive social responses are unpredictable in their specifics without significant study but may be generalized according to present cultural differences and defined through various psychological theories. Humans are not anomalies. We are predictable and therefore vulnerable to influence by those who understand what motivates us. Our motivation is socially conditioned throughout life, and is often maladaptive, or harmful to our autonomy and the autonomy of others. One may learn to predict the reaction of others through learning to understand the other person's motivation and behavioral patterns. Before one may understand others, one must understand their own motivation and behavioral patterns.
One may choose to change their maladaptive social conditioning through recognition of the reaction and its cause. Understanding causal relationships in our own behavior and within the response to the stimuli in our environment is one of the most important steps in individual growth and maturity due to its potential to create a better response with every social interaction. Better social responses equate to better social rewards.
If we are able to recognize a maladaptive behavior and the coexisting thought pattern to trace it to the particular chemical reaction within the individual brain chemistry and identify the source of the reward or motivation, then we may be able to redirect the thought and subsequent behavior to create long lasting change in the individual. Change works both ways, it may be positive or negative. Changing the stress response leads to healthier behaviors, and a healthier individual. Sometimes the problem is a chemical imbalance in the body, but that doesn't immediately mean we need pharmaceutical intervention to restore homeostasis. Severe imbalances may benefit from temporary pharmaceutical intervention should the specific imbalance be identify and respond positively to treatment. Some may say that a psychiatric disorder is better defined and treated as a metabolic disease. Identifying the specific metabolic process which leads to dysfunctional reactions may assist medical practitioners in determining proper treatment for the individual patient's needs.
Identifying a particular habit as maladaptive and replacing it with a healthier option leads to progressive health options. Once the stimuli seeking behavior is redirected, one may focus on the maladaptive thought patterns and environmental triggers associated with the distress.
For example, my oldest son has childhood c-PTSD. This is often considered an adjustment disorder and rarely defined as PTSD professionally. We, as a family, have both a mitochondrial "disease" and a genetic mutation. The mitochondrial "disease" creates a hyperactive autoimmune response to our environment, a histamine response or allergic reaction, and the genetic mutation effects the connective tissue causing something called hypermobility or loose joints. In turn, this condition is exacerbated by the multigenerational trauma present in our past creating dysautonomia and a hyperactive catecholamine response. Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is made up of the sympathetic and parasympthetic systems which regulate homeostasis. In order to function as a human, one must remain in homeostasis. Anyone with a "disease" has a dysregulated function in their body causing it to become out of synchronization with the rest of the body creating dis-ease, discomfort or distress. This can be restored through a variety of treatments related to the pathology of the disease itself. Some treatments work better than others in restoring homeostasis. The best approach will always be one which seeks a holistic view, treating the entire person rather than each symtom separately. A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which seem to be related without a defined cure. A disorder is the psychiatric equivalent to a syndrome, although syndrome may be used interchangeably by some psychiatrists while defining a condition. Diagnosis is important for the insurance industry to determine justification for treatment and whether to redirect responsibility to the patient. Essentially, determining what is "wrong" with the patient and whether it is worth paying for the medicine prescribed. The system is a well orchestrated joke.
My son's treatment is lifelong and includes educating him about normal bodily functions and determining best practices regarding self-regulation. Self-regulation is human nature, we each attempt to soothe distress in the ways which seem right to us in order to feel well.
One day, while we were homeless but not sleeping on the streets, he was chewing on caps from empty water bottles in an attempt to soothe his nervous system when he became anxious.
Anxiety activates the fight or flight centers of the nervous system which cause cortisol levels to rise, heart rate to increase, erratic breathing, and frantic thought patterns. The first step in calming the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is to regulate breathing. Breathing through your mouth, like a fish, and out your nose, is one way to regulate a bodily response to environmental distress. Another way to calm the ANS is to drink a cold glass of water. Once the individual learns to regulate their ANS response, they begin to seek external stimuli which will calm the negative cognitive biases which form while experiencing distress. Essentially, they begin to seek stimuli which will activate feel good chemicals in the brain, self regulation.
By this point, my son had already undergone therapy which taught him breathing exercises and regulated the frantic thought patterns. Additionally, I have taught him to drink water when he feels hot, an indication of his heart rate increasing. This provided the material which led to the next step in his thought process.
In order to calm his anxiety, he searched for stimuli which would alter his focus from the negative cognitive biases forming to a mundane activity, chewing on a bottle cap. It had the added benefit that chewing on plastic caused distress to authority figures (motivation to disregard warnings) and activated endorphins related to pain as the hard material activated the nerves in his mouth to produce a pain signal. He was, on a superficial level, self-harming. Self-harm activates endorphins which create a rush in the individual causing them to become addicted to the high of pain.
We were able to replace the anxious habit of chewing an inappropriate material with a better one, chewing gum. This has proven to be a good alternative for my son.
Some, with the same anxious response and chewing behavior, choose to eat when they feel distressed. This anxiety leads to unregulated weight gain which may be difficult to reverse without addressing the cause. Once the cause is identified, two areas must be addressed, the habit and the negative cognitive bias or maladaptive thought patterns.
The mechanics of the problem are all the same. An action leads to a reaction which is both equal and opposite to the source. Maladaptive patterns lead to a ricochet effect, compouding the issue.
Childhood abuse and neglect is difficult to overcome, especially if it is multi-generational. If a main caregiver that you've developed an emotional attachment to chooses to harm you, it creates a pattern of negative expection surrounding that individual, anyone you may have an attachment to, and any attachment you create with others in the future. As a child you are dependent on your caregivers to provide a nurturing social environment where you feel secure in who you are, and what is happening to you. Much of our environment as a child is dictated by those we depend on for our care. Failure to provide proper support to our children leads to lifelong challenges which they must overcome. It is not your fault if your caregiver chose to abuse or neglect you as a child. They were reacting to stimuli which triggered their fight, flight, and freeze response and projecting their trauma onto you. It is your responsibility to recognize how their reactions have created maladaptive responses within you and reverse the damage. You are a survivor, not a victim.
Everyone has a need to feel safe.
Abusive individuals exploit the needs of their dependents through the resources they provide and the emotional attachment of the dependent to the abuser. The most common abuse in domestic environments is neglect through emotional and economic means, and often with purported good intent.
Healthy adults are not victims, they are survivors because they escape and overcome a maladaptive environment through social adaptation and responsible choices.
There are plenty of social programs available for those willing to do the work required to change their lives for the better.
Resiliency theory is centered around the idea that everyone needs one consistent positive role model in their life. We need someone we can depend on to be there if something goes wrong. Without that someone, self-esteem plummets and poor habits form to fulfill our basic needs. This is essentially what it means to seek love in all the wrong places.
Love is an illusion, as is happiness. That doesn't immediately discredit the concepts we seek to define socially with these terms.
That last part, choosing not to discredit love and happiness because they are an illusion, was difficult for me to understand throughout much of my life. Now that I have begun to understand what they mean, I want to help others like me understand themselves in order to help others reach their greatest human potential.
Here's to the future, may you always put your best foot forward and question everything (even me).
***disclaimer*** These are simply my observations and experiences which I am attempting to define. Everyone experiences life differently, yet may draw similar conclusions or have similar experiences allowing us to relate with each other through the human experience. I am open to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and respectful debate. Purposefully offensive comments will be screenshot, removed, and the user blocked. It should go without saying but society has become unscrupulous and therefore those who have read this disclaimer and choose to comment anyways imply agreeance by participating that they understand offensive comments are defined as verbally abusive remarks, implied and direct threats, anything which directly violates Minds Policy of Use, or Federal and State laws as determined by the Constitution of the United States of America, and are subject to enforcement in the manner stated above. I am not responsible for your misguided emotional outbursts and they will not be tolerated on my channel. Thank you for reading my thoughts and participating in the discussion***