Taking care of ourselves amidst frustration :fighting to be free of the Complex PTSD ‘collapse’ pattern.

I just fell into the profoundly mixed up and meaningless place a while ago where all I could do was see my so called mistakes and then the ways I failed to take action for my own life and take responsibility for my own happiness. I had to stand up to Scott last night because he accused me of something that was really unfair and I actually fought my corner in a strong way. All I have done over a year or more now is try to help this guy and its got me in no end of trouble with my bank, I wrote a poem about it but didn’t have the guts to post it last night. I slept for about a hour and a half and woke up with a storm going on and a fight deep down in my body, I felt myself trying to fight everything like the fear of abandonment I suffer when I stand up to someone with a strong boundary but the really good thing is that I am not collapsing as much any more.

The collapseor ‘fawn’ defence is one Pete Walker addresses in his book on recovery from Complex PTSD. It is associated with parents who forced us to bow under their strong will (siblings and educators also do this to us as kids!!). It comes about when we feel we have no power and the interesting synchronicity from the astrological point of view is that I read up the following on Mars Saturn this week :

If your father was emotionally absent, excessively angry or irresponsible, you may have grown up with a father wound that resulted in underdeveloped masculinity (regardless of your gender.)  Until you get to the root of the father wound, you may feel a sense of weakness or even futility when trying to assert yourself or to accomplish your goals in the world.

Overcompensation may be an expression of this energy as it can be difficult to express well the feelings of powerlessness that result.

If expressing anger against your father was not safe, then you may have had to hold the anger inside, learning not to assert yourself while seething with resentment on the inside.

While there are no quick fixes, recognizing the father wound and accepting its pain is certainly the beginning of healing.  By separating from the dysfunctional patterns modelled by your father, you’ll be able to choose a different, wiser application of your energy. If expressing anger against your father was not safe, then you may have had to hold the anger inside, learning not to assert yourself while seething with resentment on the inside.

Conscious Expression: Once you’re able to separate from your identification with your father’s destructive patterns (or, if you are able to identify with his positive patterns), you’ll gain a stronger sense of self, able to achieve new heights in life through focused effort. If expressing anger against your father was not safe, then you may have had to hold the anger inside, learning not to assert yourself while seething with resentment on the inside.

Currently by transit this week Mars in Cancer in my 12th house is opposing Saturn in Capricorn transiting my 6th house and the 6th houe rules the body, whereas the 12th is both the unconscious, past actions and hidden enemies which got me to thinking sometimes our ‘hidden enemies’ are old dysfunction patterns that I have noticed someone can turn up in our lives to highlight for us.

I personally think the Saturn blockage is not just down to the personal father though, I see it more as a carried generational energy of thwarting and frustration that may turn up and if you look at a whole family of charts you see the theme repeat. I think shaming a child for taking action to support their needs and values is inherently wrong. To not allow the child to ‘fight’ in a constructive way and stand up for his or herself is also problematic. So I was glad that I could hold onto my position with Scott last night and this morning I got an apology which made me feel a bit more vindicated.

Never the less there is a backlog of events in my life where I just collapsed or looked to others to make things better and got lead astray by bad advice or pushed beyond boundaries that still rankle and I read that resentment does tend to build while Mars transits the 12th house. Before writing this I just was overcome with what a sense of ‘failure’ I carry at times. I know I am being extra hard on myself today, the inner critic has been giving me a bit of a beating up this morning, despite the fact the gardener came and I fronted up early to help and get things sorted in the garden. Later when I was feeling pretty emotional a friend called and the call dropped out about 4 times which was also frustrating but I just texted her back and let it go quickly.

I think maybe it is true that sometimes crying and taking everything on board that others go through may not be good! And collapsing in tears or feeling sad may at times be counterproductive when positive assertive action is called for. My sister used to call me the ’tissue queen’ growing up because I was so emotional at times but in therapy on Monday Kat says she feels I carried a lot of the feelings my family did not express.

People also see my kind nature and then are likely to tell me their woes which is good to a point but when I start to feeling sorry for people who really need to be helping themselves and try to ‘fix’ it the entire dynamic gets problematic, I then lose the focus on my own life and pleasure and end up feeling guilty or ‘selfish’ if I actually start to feel happy!

Someone posted a great post yesterday on caring more for ourselves and not taking on and expressing too much emotion that others evoke in us by miserable or poor treatment. Last night I told Scott it was unfair to treat me the way he had and say the things he did. I know in the end we teach people how to treat us, if we just roll over and collapse all the time we end up feeling like shit, we lose or power and forget who owns the true responsibility for making our life better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s