« Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional » Chapter 3: Narcissistic wounds and path of way-out

« Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional »

Chapter 3: Narcissistic wounds and path of way-out

(Like chapter 2, inspired Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes – You can see her full article here : http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=123559591025862)

 

« Healing is different than knowledge alone. […] It is retooling basic attitudes at root with support and guidance from the psyche, it is decontaminating whatever the person is carrying that is hurting them, and much more. »          Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes

healing

As we saw it in the previous chapter, being victim of an intrusive behaviour gives us the feeling to be exploited and colonized, dispossessed of our own intimacy, and leave us very often exhausted, like deprived of the slightest piece of energy.

For most of us, it is difficult to put limits in front of an intrusive attitude. The more this person is close us, the more it is difficult to act and help; on one hand, because of our emotional implication, on the other hand, in front of the denial in which this person is most of the time.

If we cannot help somebody who refuses to be, thing we have to take into account and respect, it is nevertheless essential that the limits are put such as they have to be, not only because they are necessary for self-fulfilment, but also for coherence of every individual. Moreover, before engaging any other action, we have to keep in mind that we are all human beings, that we have all our weaknesses we recognize with more or less objectivity. The magic word stays here, again and again, compassion.

Even if we do not admit it all the time, we all carry within one complex or an other, a weakness which can make our life miserable and, taken in its storm, some of us are less capable of facing it, because numerous outer factors get involved. A difficult time when this event comes, a weakening material situation for example, can hinder the natural healing process, and be the determining factor, which explains why certain wounds do not cure…

This type of wound requires an appropriate, recurring and long-lasting effort to be healed. Unfortunately, our western modern world, which always wants to go faster, imposes us its lack of patience and time, but necessary and essential elements in a complete remission. Who never heard a friend, tired or sick, saying, « I have to go to work, I don’t have time to stay in bet and rest »?

We live too often in the illusion we have no other choice than to produce, that our self-fulfilment depends on consumption and owning things, and that our happiness always depends on something that is somewhere else… Our society, here, imposes us a behaviour, creates an almost insatiable thirst, which exactly looks like the intrusive behaviour of our suffering friend. We look for outside what we already have inside, we give without ever receiving, and we get tired until exhaustion… If a system is bad, prevents the individual and collective self-fulfilment, feeds on us instead of feeding us, why continuing to make it prosper? But it is another question…

Let’s return to our wounds. We can not, in front of traumas so serious as narcissistic wounds, acting hastily, nor trying to dissimulate it as we would hide some dust under a carpet. A simple and fast solution is never the best in our particular case. Being healed form such a wound takes time. As a child who grows and builds himself, who wins in maturity over time and thanks to his experiences, healing from a narcissistic wound is completely comparable this adventure, this quest which begins right from the first years, and which determines the discovery and the self-fulfilment of our true self, our deep original nature.

We have to keep in mind that people who suffer and impose us their intrusive behaviour do not make it on purpose, or out of pure spite, but because they are suffering, a pain expressing a deep lack, a loss of their original authenticity. Drilling this armour, it amounts to saying to them that they have the right to be themselves, and not a copy of somebody else. Indeed, a narcissistic wound can show itself so destabilizing that the suffering person can go as far as questioning all his own foundations he built himself. Rediscovering, reconstructing his true self, his authentic original essence, is a long, difficult healing process, and he deserves respect, and support.

Supporting and accompanying this person who begins this long path, it relates at first to determine his real needs. Very often, what in daily life irritates us most, made us react, assaults us, refers very often to something we blame ourselves, within. A stranger is more often than we consider like a mirror in which we reflect, and which highlights our faults. Thus, before becoming mad, it would be necessary first to wonder why this situation has such an impact on us. It is also the case in our precise situation: a close one who suffers from narcissistic wounds imposes on others (time, being seen, looked, helped, assisted, supported, understood, esteemed, advised, etc…) what exactly he needs. It is exactly what we have to offer him, in addition to the support of a qualified person, prevent him from slipping, losing heart, giving up, and so support him until a complete recovery…

For the person who suffers, the first thing to do is indeed of acknowledge he suffers. To go out of the denial which is only strengthening our shell and closing doors, becoming estranged from himself and from those who love him. The core underlying issue is a serious lack of respect for the wound that the own true self underwent. Ignoring it or trying to repair it cut-and-dried, forgetting it too fast because we feel a bit better, is to take the risk of seeing it opening later, more violently, because woken up by a new attack against our imaginary shell…

Now, it is essential to recognize his own limits, and especially, to respect the necessary mending period. A broken leg is not cured in 2 days because we put a cast on it. It is healing because you take the needed timeout and the indispensable care to a complete recovery. As already said, it does not exist shortcut, nor compromise. Quite as the body, the psyche possesses its own capacity to repair. Even if, very often, we forget it, our strength and our recovery depend on nobody, except ourselves. Therefore, it is necessary to believe in ourselves, which is the most difficult in a state of narcissistic suffering. All the love of our circle of friends and family, although it represents a precious help, will be nothing if we are not giving enough time to work on the real inner problems, with compassion, but without sham.

The love of our friends, their advices, their support represent an inestimable help, but remain an outside help. The real healing will come from us, from within. To stay in the metaphor of the broken leg, during this difficult time, our friends can relieve us for example of domestic tasks, but the leg will be definitively cured only when bones will be mended, because we will have worn a cast correctly put for enough time. Because we ate and took vitamins and minerals suited to strengthen bones. Because, once out of the cast, we train gradually our leg to rebuilt the necessary muscular mass.

Finally, because we have found and repaired the stairs’ defective step that caused our fall. We not only gave ourselves the necessary time, but we also identified then eliminated the origin of our problem. We learnt to find in us the indispensable resources, rather than to look for somewhere else a more global, imaginary, ephemeral and unrequited nutrient. We know and recognize now our own patterns, we know ourselves better, and actually, we control more effectively, the vehicle consisted of our body-mental-esprit, the entity that makes us what we are, and not the fanciful copy of someone else.

We can decide not to begin this initiative, not to acknowledge we suffer. And it is respectable too. We can also have tried such a process, but give up too soon. Maybe it is time to try again. It is necessary to face things without looking the other way, having the courage to ask for help, by recognizing our own limits, to make the required efforts, to commit to it completely and especially, to take the indispensable time to a total recovery.

Towards chapter 4: self reconstruction and ancestral wisdoms

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