Complex PTSD Symptoms and The Paradigm of Change

Keywords: Complex PTSD Symptoms, CPTSD Symptoms.

It is far too easy to be influenced by external input these days as we’re constantly bombarded with information.

If healing from Complex PTSD symptoms is one of your objectives, I think it is wise to think carefully about what you are exposing yourself to on a daily basis.

You most likely know by now that staying in a toxic environment where you are exposed to continued abuse is not conducive to healing. I would argue that extends to what you tune into for information, be it TV news, or social media. If you expose yourself repeatedly and deliberately to news which evokes fear, disgust or anger, you will become fearful, disgusted, and angry; these feelings will seep in and will become part of your reality.

If you have traveled or lived in other continents and stepped out of the western paradigm and news feed, you will know how much mind-fuck is going on through the so-called news. Other countries and continents are doing just the same in their own ways, but it takes a while for the mind to catch up; therefore, if you take the time to travel, the space in between is a good space for reflection. If you have retreated in nature for more than three weeks without any news, it will have a similar impact.

Intention to Heal and Following Your Passions

You can set an intention to want to heal, and it certainly starts there, but you will first have to remove yourself from all toxic environments before you will have enough energy to actually work on your healing; otherwise, much of your energy is expended in managing a compromised situation.

There is no need to go to the opposite extreme and become all flower-power. Do cut out the news as much as you can or choose it very wisely. It is mostly propaganda anyway, with its own agenda.

Identification and The Continuation of Complex PTSD Symptoms

This world is possessive.

It seduces you into taking a stand all the time; to agree or disagree, to be for something or against something, to believe or not to believe. This world wants your attention and your energy and one way to achieve your participation is through your voluntary engagement. It doesn’t really matter if you are for a particular belief, be it political or otherwise, or against it. The thing is that when you are engaged by it, your energy flows into it, and you thereby become part of it. You are identified with it.

Love binds; hate binds even more.

It is tricky to talk about this because the mind very quickly intervenes and brings up justifications: “But we should be doing something...” or “If I don’t believe or stand for anything then nothing will ever change.” The fact is that in spite of both reaction and negligence, things have not really changed. Technology has evolved, but the human mind and our emotional responses have remained the same. As a result, it has left us basically in limbo and on the verge of self-destructing.

In order to look at such a complex issue, then, I think that we have to look at it from a micro-perspective first. If we look at it first from a perspective of Post-Traumatic Stress, we might then be able to look at it from a macro-perspective and perhaps deal with the world in a healthy manner.

The Process of Dissociation as Complex PTSD Symptoms

I have mentioned time and again that excessive thought, the insistence of finding out the “why?” of a particular emotion, feeling or experience, or the reaction of wanting to solve or get rid of it, are dissociation responses and are never going to help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. The where you want to be, psychologically, is an illusion and is flowing out of the very pain of where you are and your inability to meet that pain in the here and now.

Let’s illustrate that with an example:

I am hurting because I have been physically and psychologically abused, and that hurt has stayed with me over time. I have suppressed anger, a deep wound of loneliness out of a lack of love; therefore, I subsequently suffer from anxiety, depression, and lack of self-worth.

This part here above is the essence of human suffering. Many—if not most of us—go through this in varying levels of intensity.

Our personal traumas are what shape our outward society. You cannot separate them. They are intertwined, meshed up.

Now, I am constantly fighting with my complex PTSD symptoms. I tell myself I should be more assertive, get out of this, take action, and when I fail, I get upset with myself. I self-blame, feel hurt, and retreat again into loneliness until depression takes over. Thirdly, I might also cope through addictive behaviors or substances from time to time. And lastly, I might project that if I just have enough money, or have someone, or if the world was different, or if I can only understand the cause of my suffering, everything would be better for me.

So, my mind is continuously escaping and thus self-perpetuating its own state through constant reaction, and I keep telling myself I should do something because if I stop, things will be worse. I am locked into this perpetual cycle of suffering with apparently no way out through trying to overcome, through avoiding, wanting to force change, and through wanting to get rid of my past and emotions.

How to Treat Complex PTSD Symptoms Through Non-dual Awareness

Real change requires a different approach altogether. It requires a willingness to listen to your pain, to become intimate with it, to hold a state of non-duality in which you are not choosing one extreme over the other; in which you are neither fully identified and are becoming your suffering nor where you reject your suffering and your pain.

It is that very listening into the various complex layers of PTSD, symptoms, and dissociation that helps you connect to the source of your emotional pain and, thereby, through adequate containment and resilience, you will start to process the emotional residue within and thus start to heal and integrate. The past will become a part of the past because you have fully met the emotional residue and worked through it.

Our personal traumas are what shape our outward society. You cannot separate them. They are intertwined, meshed up.

Resonating With a New Paradigm Beyond Hurt and Belief

When dealing with the outside world, a similar approach can be applied.

There will always be the latest self-help guru or politician promising change or that you can achieve whatever you want. It would be easy to fall for it if you are hurting and hoping for release.

Similarly, you might be swayed by the current beliefs of where you live—be it religion, politics, a consensus in science or economics—and react through choice, through being for or against, and thus become part of that cycle.

It takes so much more work to observe non-dualistically—as with working through post-traumatic stress—to set your boundaries clearly regarding where you want to live, which people you want to have close to you, and what information you allow yourself to be informed by.

It is hard work—as it is hard work to go through Complex PTSD, its symptoms and layers of complexity—to shape your life according to a paradigm that is not based on the old, and this applies both to your inner cosmos, the ways in which you have been dealing with your emotional residue, as well as dealing with the world at large, and they go together.

A New Pardigm

This world is made up of a mixture of so many realities defined by one’s beliefs, convictions, and choices. If you understand that deeply then you know your reality is exactly that; it is made up of your beliefs, convictions, experiences, and choices.

You can, therefore, be more fluid, forever questioning the nature of your reality and invite change.

It is up to you to want to resonate with another paradigm and thereby bring another reality, another possibility of living into being. It will be your responsibility and you alone are accountable.

What can you do to start making steps towards a new paradigm? Share your comments below.

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  • Sherry says:

    This was an excellent article! I have been systematically doing this for about 6 months or more now. Choosing what and who I am influenced by and if I am waylayed by a person or situation taking time to journal out my thoughts on paper, so I can objectively stop and look at the feelings on the page. The very act of writing them down, free flow, helps to disperse the energy they have had when running in a loop in my brain. Then, I do a “feel it” technique and I lay down and as I’m resting I tell/ let myself “feel every part of your body” somehow this feeling into the felt sense of pain, anxiety, tightness, anger, fear, etc… helps keep my mind from hijacking my body and emotions further. I allow myself the time of feeling icky knowing this is needed recovery time after my whole system suffering a shock overload. There is no breaker to just flip and reset so the static current must dispate slowly. I am finding my recovery times getting shorter as I learn each time how to see these as a system malfunction and needed reset. Your teaching are the help I’ve needed! Thank You Roland!

    • Roland says:

      Hi Sherry. I am happy to hear you working hard and seeing results. Thanks for elaborating a bit in your comment.

    • Andrea says:

      wow, i have found this technique also through my own intuitive practice. its deep isnt it and requires love and patience and is actually kind of fascinating.

  • Carina says:

    Thank you

  • Scott E Hart says:

    Yes, the figuring out why was such a drive for me for so long. Having to know why someone felt a certain way and what I could do to fix it. I had to go 40 years like this. I lost everything and everyone and my dreams to this. The recent help that is showing up, like yours Roland, has opened up a whole new perception on the triggers and that it’s really ok not to be ok. The pressure had lightened up a little to where I am hungry to get better with my surroundings. Just a sincere thanks to you and those who actually care for our well being and don’t just throw us away.

    • Roland says:

      Hey Scott. Good to have you here. “It is ok not to be ok,” – I think it is major insight to have and can take away a lot of the load. Keep going.

  • Simi says:

    Do u treat people virtually?

  • Kristin says:

    I’m a bit confused between acknowledging my feelings and going into the “why, what happened, to cause them. I think it’s because I dont even know what my feelings are most of the time. It seems to be a mixture of blah, rage, fear, hurt, all balled up. Also, what’s the difference between journaling and dwelling on the past? That’s not a rhetorical question.
    So, it’s ok to feel the feelings but not analyze the whys of it?
    Thank you all, Roland.

    • Roland says:

      If you can ask the “why” question as an exploration and not necessarily out of demanding an answer; it can take equally take you inward. The difficulty is that our thoughts quickly take over and try to find meaning rather than face the feeling(s) which then becomes a dissociative response. In regard to confusion, if that is what is present now, that is where you have to start. Keep going Kristin. I know this work is tough. Just keep coming back to these articles and reread them. Best.

  • Steven says:

    This came at such a timely time. I had made a decision to stop political engagement on Facebook. In a very short time I undid that decision, noticing that I was getting frustrated, furious at “stupid” people, agonizing over the awful things taking place, and noticing how much time and energy it has been sucking out of me. I feel more committed after reading this article. I intend now for sure to divorce myself from this toxic crap, and it is an excellent reminder of what I already knew – that the best thing I can offer the world is my own healing.

  • Monique says:

    spot on, yet again. definitley need to rethink with what information I feed my brain with. Feel the urge though to check certain information in order to be aware of the several kind of possible triggers out there. tend not to take certain things as coincidences at the moment, yet keep my mind open for the bigger picture. i feel I am at a big crossroad intersection in my life. need to reflect with calm about what kind of changes to make. Safe environment first, healthy relationships too. eyes open for fake love and kindness. thank you for all you share out here Roland!

    • Roland says:

      From time to time I think it can be educational to emerge yourself in certain studies of information for a limited period of time. When identification through reaction starts to take over too much it is time to let that information sink onto a deeper level of consciousness and raise one’s vibration.

  • Renee says:

    Thank you for sharing your article.
    This is exactly what I am working on now. I must admit it can be very emotional and a bit overwhelming. It certainly must be done for proper healing. I never really thought about the outside influences, agree and wi l be more conscious about what goes in.
    Thank you and have an amazing day!

  • Salena Reding says:

    I completely understand your blog on setting up a positive environment… I have just had to rid myself of a toxic friendship I got involved with whilst I was recovering from a major ptsd breakdown (which is when I got diagnosed earlier this year) my vulnerability allowed this to happen and it started to take over my life. Through a process of cbt and engaging in high intensity training excersize program I have managed to rid myself of this and create a more positive environment for myself and my family. On reflection and getting to understand ptsd I have been able to recognise that I have been suffering on and off with this for 40 years with the main trigger being a parent. Thanks to the information you share and explain has been invaluable to me getting to know who I am.

    • Roland says:

      Hi Salena. Happy to hear the resources here are of help to you. It takes various approaches and reflection to become aware of one’s condition.

  • Lorraine says:

    Thank you for sharing this with me. I have been working on healing from a variety of different things. I stopped watching news a long time ago, I look up what I need to know. I think my next step will be social media as it is overwhelming.

  • Simi says:

    I am suffering from OTSD – ongoing. It’s getting worse. I can recover till my ex spouse stops harming my kids and stops taking me to court. I will help myself by watching only good news. What else can I do.

    • Roland says:

      Hi Simi. Most important thing is to get away from an abusive environment first. Having kids with an abusive ex-partner does make it a lot more difficult and it is a challenge to keep healthy boundaries there.

  • Elaine says:

    I am just starting on the road to healing and have a habbit of withdrawing becoming a recluse. I went to see my doctor in order to ask for help after 6 years or more of depression and sabotaging everything I did well, or just lost interest. This article has helped me understand myself more, although on a long road to recovery. Thank you

  • Martha says:

    I am finding , through these articles, that all the anger I have bottled up for so long MUST come out! I have always been the one who just “took it,” whatever “it” was, and I tried so very hard to be kind and understanding of other people’s flaws, fears, and insecurities, that I never really paid attention to ME! I allowed myself to be emotionally abused by a husband, (and made excuses for HIS behavioral problems) and in doing so, I completely lost track of who I am, my own values, my own physical and emotional needs, and my core personality! I allowed it for WAY too long, and then I pushed the rightful anger and frustrations down into my body and soul! It is now coming forth through tears, but the anger is still needing to be let out! I think reading your articles and then sitting alone to think about them is helping me glean information which is helping me make progress in healing! And I thank you, most sincerely!!

  • Celeste says:

    Thank you Roland!!! You are a lifeline. I am in South Africa and diagnosed myself with P.T.S.D. after my cousins murder, uncle’s suicide and a narcissistic, abusive mother and bad childhood. I am so bad I cannot even peel potatoes in the kitchen if the news talks about any murder… and there are lots in our country!! Regards.

  • Thana says:

    Loved this article. … it has been my journey through PTSD Therapy for the last year… the work of healing at times can be a rocky uncomfortable toad , but I have found coming out the other side to be so rewarding and like being reborn into a new life everytime… like living a billion life’s in one lifetime. Now that I’ve experienced what awesomeness healing can be, I would NEVER go back to my old shut down self. I recommend this journey to everyone. Thank you for this article. I love me today, maybe not everyone does, but they don’t belong on my journey and tend to do something to be removed from my journey. Oh and on watching the news? I don’t and have avoided it for yrs now when my doctor (holistic ) told me to avoid it at all cost as it was causing trouble for my adrenal system due to the stress it causes. That was the start of finding my journey to healing ALL my childhood trauma.

  • Hele says:

    This is very interesting to me, Roland, and my experience shows me what you say … to be true. Over the past year or so, I have taken “news breaks” and have found these breaks to be most helpful in dealing with dissociation. Since I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast, I’ve placed my time and energies into hiking, biking… and have stayed away from the political/ opinion type of news. I still have my convictions and beliefs, yet I’ve chosen not to feed them on a regular basis. To stay in touch with events in the world, I watch world news without opinions attached… just the descriptions of news events. Now I am able to (more often) enjoy swimming, biking… for the pleasure and exercise it offers rather than do it for anxiety dumping. I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself clearly, but what I mean is… while I still have my “worldview”, I choose not to feed it continually. Thanks for the reminder about television shows. I just watched “July 22”. I thought the movie portrayed PTSD quite well, but probably not the best for me to watch. I’m sorry to say, though, that I was unaware of this horrific tragedy. : (

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