I like dream analyzing, have for years, and I find a well of wisdom in it once you crack the code to the particular language of your subconscious.
A few months ago I dreamt that I cut out all labels at the neck of my sweaters. Later in the dream, I was unable to start my old (scrapped) car, parked down a forest trail: the steering wheel was missing and it was impossible, even illegal attempting to start it. Pretty straightforward I think: going through this experience with Chronic Fatigue has left me with no positive outward identity yet unable to continue my old way of “driving through life”.
I’ve, besides, recently found out that it seems I’ve unknowingly dealt with a mild case of CPTSD for years. It was a (sad) light-bulb moment, reading the descriptions of this condition. I highly recommend Pete Walker’s book: “Complex PTSD: From surviving to thriving” (get it on Amazon.com).
His definitions of CPTSD:
Experiencing emotional flashbacks (without visual content) of feeling very small, fragmented and powerless/hopeless, dealing with social anxiety, toxic shame, low self-worth, have boundary-setting issues, bouts of abandonment depression, etc. He explains how your body reacted in the past to something that was traumatic for you, with either a freeze, fawn, flight, fight-response or a combination. And how to move out of these states again, slowly and gradually.
Not to mention dealing with the infamous, so-called “inner critic” which is an aspect of your own mind that hijacks the tiniest trace of critic or disapproval from outside sources and then blows it out of proportions and attacks you from inside. One of the most important tasks was (on rare occasions still is) dismantling this self-attacking little devil, which many are familiar with.
It’s recognizable to me; though mostly from way back in my earlier adult years. Slowly I got better, in fact, much better; it feels like I’m in the last stages of recovery.
-In retrospect, it seems like I have, very slowly throughout the years, been moving through all the trauma-responses. All except the fight one.
That is; not until now, because these last months some deeply buried sorrow and suppressed rage arose in me, finally! Safely released without harming anyone, except a couple of unsuspecting pillows..;0)
I want to stress, that it’s not like I’ve experienced abuse or extreme neglect. Nobody was deliberately cruel, but being so sensitive + an empath in combination with certain aspects of my upbringing, apparently caused some damage. Besides, I think this condition is actually much more common than we think. And us sensitive ones are probably extra susceptible to trauma.
I agree with Pete Walker’s thought, that trauma in various degrees is often the real root-cause behind various diseases or psychological disorders.
The last couple of years has left me stripped to the core on all levels. It’s tough to watch yourself be reduced to a “case”, as viewed through the eyes of society. It can be difficult not to allow society/other people to define you, can it not? Since that’s how we all are conditioned throughout childhood. Thank god, I had already unlearned a lot. If I hadn’t, this phase would have been harder to go through for sure. Real trouble only comes, if there’s a part of you that still secretly agrees with certain demeaning perceptions: like being too much/little, just weak or even broken. It’s of course very crippling if even just a small part of you agree with certain perceptions.Like old, semi-conscious misperceptions and faulty filters formed around the way, you were responded or not quite properly responded to, throughout childhood. We have to clean those faulty filters or better throw them out!
The world is a relentlessly sharp mirror; showing you exactly how or where you are still belittling or having doubts about yourself. You could say it’s showing you; by triggering a painful response in you or not, how far you have come in your healing process. It keeps unraveling, bringing the youngest parts of you up for a healing, motherly embrace.
Our no. 1 responsibility in life is to take the power of defining and valuing ourselves back into our own hands (difficult as it can be). We must learn to always be our own best, most loving friend no matter what. Besides, who knows better than myself, the essence of my heart & soul? Stripped bare as I am right now with no labels to hide behind.
P.S. “my” meadow is blooming again. I hope this summer’s going to be better than last year!