We are most vulnerable to repeating history when we are not able to integrate, understand and consciously make our own meaning of experience. Making constructive meaning of experience is the psyche’s way of learning and growing from adversity, placing it in proper perspective. Though we may have been a victim in some circumstances, we do not need to form that self concept.
Heartwounds : The Impact of Unresolved Trauma and Grief on Relationships.
Last week I was led through a link of coincidence to a You tube video on victim consciousness by David Essel. It made me really aware of when and how I can stay trapped in a victim place of self imposed isolation, not seeing a way out, concentrating on what is missing or lost instead of on the things I can do in this moment to make life happy and be fully engaged in a positive way, not denying the pain but choosing to act anyway. I know part of this is due to the trauma I suffered when I tried to go out from my life in Australia and create a new life overseas. I know part of it is healthy self protection, but how much? This is the big question. I also know over the past six months I have been fronting up more and have been less paralysed than in the past.
After the bike crash I suffered while trying to build a new life back in the UK in 2005, my nervous system was seriously discombobulated. I was having a lot of dizziness and feelings of dissociation and derealisation. The only person really available to me emotionally was a lovely girl who worked voluntarily with the Home from Hospital organisation. She came to visit me and help me with my shopping and we became friends. But the place where I was staying was not as supportive.
The family had lost a friend to addiction few years before. I wasn’t in active addiction but I was in a lot of grief and sadness, my marriage had ended and it was a huge blow and I was only just beginning to grieve earlier losses being sober at that stage for 9 years. It took a along time for feelings to thaw and I needed to examine my past. They told me they didn’t need a sad person around then when their own daughter was trying to grieve her friend. Nor was the daughter willing to open up her pain to me (I would have totally understood having been in recovery at the stage for so long.) They were fully entitled to make this choice, it was their home. It really hurt at the time though.
In the end I got upset that they were so harsh with me and decided to go to Glastonbury, where I was out of my depth and out on a limb too. When it all got too much I panicked and booked a ticket home to Australia. I was scared of being out on a limb on my own, but I now see that I could have found the support I needed back in Cambridge with my other friend, and in some way coming back was a regressive step. As I write this I think of something Carl Jung wrote that often we take a step back in order to grow in consciousness. I think I am being too hard on myself.
I came back and isolated at the coast for 18 months more before meeting my partner who I have said was narcissistic. Now I am not so sure, I think we both had narcissistic issues and he didn’t have the empathy to understand how mixed up my nervous and emotional system was at that stage. Now I look back on it I wasn’t ready for a healthy relationship and due to my own trauma I didn’t have the things to give him he needed and vice versa. At one point he got really angry with me “I don’t want to be your fucking nurse”, he said to me. And another time “I am not your teddy bear.” Was I clinging onto him? Probably, I was so deeply lonely and sad at that time. He had his own plans and it was okay if I wanted to come along for the ride. I went along for rides when really I was overextending so as not to loose his love. In the end I lost it anyway and was told at the end I was screwy, flighty and insecure and that he deserved a medal for sticking with me. I did the best I could, it just wasn’t good enough for him and he moved on. It is still taking a long time to overcome the feelings that I am less than (a friend of his did say to me a while back, Deb he dumped all of his unconscious shit into you) . Despite this some times I still suffer shame over how angry his behaviour made me at times and that I found it so hard to articulate it in words. Now I know I really was traumatised and trying my best to heal in a doomed situation. I had deep lessons here.
Why am I writing this today? I think the Moon today is on his Sun in Capricorn and he had the South Node there, moving towards his nurturing North Node in Cancer was all a bit too much for him. He dumped me and found someone who had much less complications. Not meant to be.
Gosh I didn’t even intend to write all of this when I started this blog. I was trying to work through whether or not at times I get stuck in victim consciousness. Maybe by looking to him too much, for something I needed to give myself or find from someone emotionally available I allowed myself to be victimised. Sometimes if I am not careful I can still feel like a victim when that is really the last thing I want.
I was feeling a lot of frustration before sitting down to write this, then the lady who helps me with the homeopathy called. I had put two calls through to her on the weekend and yesterday as the remedy was causing nose bleeds and it was arking up memories of my 2005 crash where I went over the handlebars of my bike and cut my head open. I was very upset she hadn’t called back until today, but I also accepted when she told me she had been busy on the weekend. I was left without support for that time and just had to hold myself through. That made me feel it wasn’t very professional and I needed more support but to cut off in anger would not have served me well and I know others get busy and cannot always be there for me on my shedule.
Coming out of feeling like a victim is very important for me. As is learning to be my own best parent. I am thinking this with the Capricorn moon today representing the best of the father in us, the part that can be realistic, set good boundaries and take steps to be the hunter/gatherer to feed and acquire what our soul needs. He is the one who can feed the Cancerian part of us that hungers and has needs. I occurs to me too the both signs Cancer and Capricorn are tied up with issues of security. It seems we can feel most secure when we know and trust ourselves and our inner life and take responsibility for our own healing. And as Leah Whitehorse shared in her article today on the Capricorn Moon the sea tai of Capricorn helps us to contain and make sense of Cancerian feelings.
I was reading in Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run With the Wolves on the weekend where she speaks about the intuitive side of the nurturing mother who knows when not to be so nice and teaches her children when to snap and growl in order to protect themselves. It is this part of the actual and internal mother who pushes us out of the nest when the time is right. We need to have legs to walk on, though to get out and about, it doesn’t help us if our psychic legs and instincts have been injured or cut out from under us and that is what does happen to those of us who have developmental trauma.
After reading this I was thinking about how being nice is one of my mother’s most important criterions in life. And how being nice can be a bullshit charade to cover over more real emotions and needs and being too nice with the wrong people sets us up to be victimised and lose our power.
It seems to me that our ability to leave behind the role of victim, involves the ability to not be so nice all of the time, to call a spade a spade and to sidestep that which is hurtful. Certainly we will always be aware that there are times we have been victimised and when we are low we may be accused of acting like a victim by people who have an investment in denying a deeper more painful reality. They may even be our abusers, invested in gaslighting or denying their abuse.
There is something to be said for owning one’s own power, for taking steps to reach for what is healthy, nurturing and good for us and for setting good boundaries with ourselves and others. Our ability to do this rests on our ability to know who we really are and if we not given permission to be that self finding those who will help us rediscover it and grow in the directions we need to grow.
We all have needs and if we didn’t have those needs met in childhood we need as adults to find those mentors or other who will help us to meet them. I know most certainly how long it has taken me to find the right supporters in my own life. They are the ones who encourage me to reach for my own answers and find and build my inner strengths. They are the ones who will acknowledge how I might have been victimised in the past and in owning that help me address earlier injuries and deficits so I don’t stay trapped in victim forever.