Complex PTSD & The Power of Rebuilding Boundaries

Complex PTSD & Boundaries Setting

To recover and heal, you need to be committed and dedicated. You will need to persist and be patient, which often only comes when you have hit rock bottom; when you have realized you only have two options: continue to self-destruct and die, or work towards recovery.

Working towards recovery takes time and energy. Money is part of energy. If you have few financial resources, you pay with time and energy. Once you become less anxious and/or depressed, you get more access to anger. If your anger keeps overwhelming you, your anger will either turn inward as self-reproach or self-hatred, or flow outward as self-righteousness, faultfinding, or blame.

Importance of Complex PTSD Boundaries

Accessing constructive anger in the form of boundaries usually starts with acting on and/or voicing what you don’t want. Removing yourself from an environment that does not respect you is part of setting boundaries.


When you start to learn to work with boundaries, that helps you to have more of a sense of self. You can distinguish better between what you want and what are someone else’s wishes. In turn, boundaries reduce anxiety, over time. At first, you will probably struggle with boundaries and it might amp up your anxiety, especially if you tend to please-appease others to get a sense of validation. If you persist with exploring boundaries, over time you will shift to giving validation to self before others.

The Connection between Complex PTSD Boundaries, Self-Validation, and Anxiety

Complex PTSD Boundaries and self-validation, as mentioned earlier, increase self-worth and self-esteem, and potentially reduce anxiety. Healthy boundaries, by expressing what you want or don’t want, also make you more focused, more purposeful, more embodied, more productive, more organized, and thus more fulfilled.

As a result of the above, you will also find that you are able to make more money. You value your time and your energy better, or are more purposeful in learning a new skill which will eventually better balance your time and energy.

As you struggle upward, you trade one against the other—time, energy, money—all of them are forms of currency.

Balancing Survival Responses for Optimal Health

If your default survival response is not flight or please-appease, but fight, you might have found that your boundaries are too strict, too rigid. You might be able to make money as a means to fill a void, but you might trade your time and energy dis-proportionally for money.

Any disproportionate, excessive, or lack of a particular survival response wears down your nervous system, your body, your mind, and most likely strains your social relationships.


Each survival response needs to be balanced out so it starts to work for you rather than against you.

The Power of Complex PTSD Boundaries Setting

A healthy fight response—the energy of anger—can help you to set boundaries, have a healthier sense of self, and of purpose.

A healthy please-response can become healthy empathy—compassion and consideration for others.

A healthy flight response, the energy of anxiety, can be turned into alertness, being observant, present.

Work towards making each survival response and connected emotion, work for you rather than against you.

  • Nicole says:

    Excellent article.

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