Break through …..
In October 2015 I had a major break through with someone who was very challenged. Over a long period. Slow change. Organic. Imagine the turrets of defense – fear, aggression, loathing, blame, distrust, all come tumbling down and not knowing how to handle the feeling of safety, because, for most of your life, perceived threat dominated your emotions, continuously hijacked you from building ordinary relationships. Feeling continuous threat, you constructed your inner Fort to fiercely separate you from the ‘dangerous’ world. But now, the Turrets of your Fort have been vanquished, because the raw excitement of fear and loathing is simply not there to maintain them. No fuel left. No energy coz no enemy. Now there is a calm and safe space of disquiet. An emptiness which demotivates and depresses, because you simple do not know how to populate your world now, with imperfect real people in relationships that are anyway often unfulfilling.
Self judgement and alienation
“How do I meet friends?” You cannot imagine being like other people, you aren’t involved with any social activity apart from family. And anyway you spent many years worshiping things that work, like guns and tanks. You don’t want to deal with the mushy world of emotions, yet you are ready for friendship.
You can’t acknowledge that your sudden emotional vulnerability is accompanied by a longing for wholeness. How are you supposed to know that the conflict between feeling vulnerable and the longing for wholeness, is the very dynamic that turns and churns out growth? How could you begin to even consider that this is how humans disentangle and get unstuck? What, me stuck, never!!! Yet this is how humans evolve and develop the Self. Although it is a daunting prospect, this is how it works, a kinda law of nature.
Look, it’s much easier to demonise others for their stupidity, their attempt to control you with calming medication, their lack of care, their simple weakness, but the aggression you needed to be ready to attack from your Fort 24/7, is unsustainable without any real enemies.
The person I am referring to is the person that inspired this writing and whom I referenced in the first paragraph. They had been diagnosed with a concoction of a few different phobias, oppositional defiant disorder and autism. There was anger and extreme aggression to a range of people and groups and some obvious fear along with lot’s of hidden fear mixed with anxiety. Over many many meetings I affirmed the intention to be a trustworthy person in a trusting and respectful relationship. I was tested. Again and again with constant rudeness, personal attacks, inerrogations to find out about the consistency of my values and my actions and once or twice, anger nearly spilled over into physical attack.
I see trust!
The following further explores the qualities of the way I interact and the nuance subtleties that make the difference. In focusing on growing trust with my clients, I see trust. I see it. A dynamic that steers with respect, patience, tolerance, delayed gratification, inner resolve etc ….The world is often safer than we feel it is. But, it always demands Work responding to the demands of our life, clarifying our values, building high trust spaces, dreaming our dreams and working with realistic hope to become the person we are meant to be….
(read on to part 4 – Authentic responses)