Is Your Protective Self Sabotaging Your Healing From Complex PTSD?Feb 21, 2021
This past month in the Thrivers School of Transformation we discussed Whole Again, by Jackson Mackenzie. I know that the thought of a book club can conjure up images of old women knitting (no offense to those who knit) but the truth is that our monthly discussion allows us to not only gain knowledge of what helps on the healing journey, but it also helps us to see how we can apply that knowledge.
Most individuals that are battling the side effects of narcissistic abuse or struggling to overcome complex ptsd have gathered a lot of knowledge on the topic of narcissists. However, it's learning how to make it practical, how to take that knowledge and use it to shape and transform your life that can be the challenge - and that's the purpose of our meetings together.
One member told me that the discussion helped her to completely shift in her way of viewing herself and her own healing journey. When she first read the book on her own, each piece of knowledge seemed to conjure up her inner critic which heartlessly condemned her, blaming her for her inner emotional state, making her feel weak and unworthy simply because she was still recovering from a lifetime of psychological abuse.
She felt so condemned and blamed that it caused her to dissociate or shut down in order to protect herself. But after attending the class and hearing not only from myself, but from others as we discussed how the information, she experienced a complete shift in perspective. She was able to let go of the negative condemnation and blame and was able to allow herself to be kinder to herself, which in turn helped her to be more open to the information in a more positive way.
When she shared this with me it really helped me to see how valuable it is to meet together. Left alone, our inner critic will use information that is helpful .... to harm. In reality, what is happening is that the protective self is doing all it can to keep you from healing!!!! The protective self wants you to think that healing is too dangerous, too hard, too impossible - it's for others but not for you.
The protective self tries to sabotage your healing for two reasons:
1. It truly thinks it is keeping you safe. Part of healing involves becoming assertive, exercising self care and self love, allowing yourself to be authentic even if others don't like you, to mention a few things. And those are things that in the past were met with anger, emotional abandonment or some kind of punishment from the toxic people in your life. Therefore the protective self thinks it is keeping you safe by not developing and strengthening the healthy habits needed to heal.
2. Once you heal and become authentic ..... that means the end or death of the protective self and it just doesn't want to let go!!!
I'm sharing this with you because if you find yourself getting uncomfortable learning about what can help you on the healing journey, if you prefer to focus externally on what the narcissist did rather than internally on what's needed to heal, if you find yourself starting and stopping the healing journey over and over again... it may be because your protective self is trying to sabotage you. But you can work through this.
Healing is uncomfortable at times. The unknown can feel scary and overwhelming - but you do NOT have to travel the healing journey alone. Make sure to check out the Thrivers School of Transformation to see if it's a good fit for you!!