The Teacher and Healing

Then said a teacher, “Speak to us of Teaching.”And he said:

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of our knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I had a few interesting discussions today, and I try very hard to reflect on my actions as I am still very much on a journey.  I have elected to turn my experience as a survivor of NPD Abuse into something productive which I hope will help others.  The trauma and inner turmoil that results from NPD abuse is mind shattering, heart shattering, and soul shattering.  It is my belief that there are a number of areas we need to focus on and nurture if we are going to triumph in victory and claim ‘survivorship’ which is different from merely accepting and existing.

This experience for me has been a breakthrough on many fronts; however, there is more to this journey.  We can read, research, purge and vent, but what is the goal?  Where is the final destination?  That is what this journey is about.  Certainly in the early stages we are riddled with anxiety, suffering from severe mental anguish, some of us severely depressed, this experience leaves us exasperated and depleted; however, it is an experience that should not be looked upon as in vain, or coincidence…while we were targeted by a pathological, unaware of this disorder, the role that manipulation, gas lighting, mind games and emotional rape, as well as in some cases  physical and/or sexual abuse – the human spirit has the ability to recover.  It is a matter of getting our minds, hearts and souls back in synch.

There are no magic wands, both figuratively or literally – nor is there some magic snake oil that will take it away.  It is a matter of doing the work…facing those demons eye to eye and dismantling them one by one.

Earlier today, I had a discussion with a member who stated they needed time away, I encouraged and supported it because peer support is helpful, but there are many stages to healing and times when we become over saturated with it all, our minds are filled with noise.  We need to take time away sometimes just to exist within whatever silence we can obtain…our minds, our hearts and our souls need rest to regenerate.

Merging all the various stages together does not always work out…those who are new to the process are pouring out their heart and souls as they should because that is an important part of the process.  They are struggling with the why’s the how’s and the WTF’s of all of this disordered chaos that cannot be reasoned or rationalized because it is INSANITY yet, they are struggling very hard with whatever sanity THEY have left to make sense of it all.  Those who have not been afflicted at all by NPD Abuse will not even comprehend the difficulty, the struggle and the challenges that an NPD Abuse victim faces…NPD abuse victims very often do not have tangible evidence to show because they were psychologically battered.  This obviously has an effect on the psyche of the victim.  We are in many cases as a result of this insidious and stealth assault rendered temporarily insane ourselves.  We’ve been involved with an individual who suffers from a pathological disorder that even the Mental Health Professionals throw their hands up to – and yet, the victim is told to suck it up.  Get over it, deal with it…take a pill…a pharmeceutical magic wand…

Those further along in the process, are so happy to be past the above referenced stage, I imagine them cringing every time they come across a newbie.  Not because they are now so much ‘better’ but because it serves as a FRESH REMINDER…of what they just recently finished battling, they are still emotionally and psychologically bruised, but they are beginning to heal, they can articulate, they can make certain connections, they are still hurting but not as raw…they can somewhat function, they see a glimpse of hope that they will somehow make it out of this rabbit hole alive, but there is a lingering fear that the horror they just escaped can come back at any time, they are unsure of how long they will feel ‘up’ and in this stage there is still a lot of vacillating, a lot of good days still mixed in with bad days…the newbies just help confirm this…help validate this FEAR that is a very real, well-earned and valid fear…this is a fight for life literally and figuratively…one will either heal and put this to rest, or one will be haunted and scarred for life…what determines that is how one approaches healing, if at all.  Trauma is for life.  But there is hope and ways to cope.

Finally, there are those that are standing at the doorway and with one more step they will have reached the light…it is usually at this point one either feels a calling to continue on the journey with others and can do so without too many triggers, or they are strong enough to follow their own path, and begin the process of really rebuilding the new architecture of their lives.  At this point, victims are literally at a fork in the road, they transition from victim to survivor and either continue to help others or go their own separate way, discovering further their purpose. There are some who will end up repeating this experience, as if the lessons were not learned, if the process was not really followed, if they only half heartedly did the work and did not work on the issues and it’s just a matter of time healing the wound, then very likely history will repeat itself.  This is the reality.

Earlier I mentioned I had a discussion with  a member who needed a break…and I encourage everyone to take a break as this is not about ‘control’ and everyone knows what they can and cannot deal with and when the ‘noise’ is getting a bit too amplified; however, in that conversation, I suggested, that the individual take the time that they needed and “BE SELFISH” to which they replied: 

“Focusing on one’s self is necessary only to some degree. I don’t think it is all that often a good thing to actually advise – partly because when one is focussed on self then it is the state in which depression occurs, is it not?  Then helping others would be very difficult.”

Under normal circumstances, I would agree.  I hope if the member views this they do not take it as my blurting out our private conversation, in fact they have my assurance that their identity would NEVER be released; however, this is not a normal circumstance and I think many of us have been conditioned to think of others even BEFORE ourselves…personally, early in my journey, the thought of being selfish was equated with something negative…what is important to remember is that we have suffered a serious psychological assault and have been left depleted by giving our all…everything…our energy, our time, our emotions, and were kept teeter-tottering on a merry go round of insanity…WE ARE DEPLETED!  The only way to get back to self is to be selfish!  Our resources have all been spent, there is nothing LEFT to give…until we recover…giving what we did not have left to give is what landed us in such a state of crisis.

Equally, it is necessary to explain, focusing on the self is NOT the same as rumination….when ruminating, we are replaying all the tapes, obsessionally going over what has happened and how it affects us…that is not the same as being selfish.  Rumination is a natural part of how the brain processes this trauma until we can come to grips with it, but we also have to do some work re-directing our thoughts after a reasonable time has passed and we find we are still ruminating.  Being selfish means, doing those things that are healthy for us and our healing so that we can begin to fill ourselves and replenish the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical reserves that are depleted.  If we don’t replenish those reserves, we are running on empty, we are operating with VOIDS and we CAN’T help anyone else.  We’re empty.

It is said by most that are familiar with recovery of NPD Abuse that it takes about 18 months to heal…some more, some less; however, if it were broken up in steps, it would average about three months per step; however, sometimes we find ourselves fluctuating so we vacillate between the steps, there is no specific formula  so to speak.  I would say however, IF you feel suicidal, if the depression is getting increasingly worse if you can’t shake it, you may have to explore more than just peer support if that has been your only option, while I am not a proponent for pills, if you need them to take the edge off, get them.  They do not have to be long-term…each of us are different.  Rumination does lead to depression when done for an extensive amount of time…it’s being stuck on the loop, and it happens…but it is important to understand the process and the various elements involved.  Much of it is unpleasant, panful and intense emotionally, but it is what this situation brings to our lives, and it is how we choose to handle it that will dictate the success and the long term benefits of our recovery.

There are various methods of healing and there is no “One Size Fits All” in recovery which is why I encourage everyone to search not only for answers, but their truth…as that is at the end of the day, the whole of what this ‘journey” towards healing is all about.

Finally, as it pertains to teachers…we are all peers supporting one another…NO ONE has more knowledge than you do.  You have this knowledge as a gift from the universe, it is called intuition…just like the aforementioned excerpt from “The Prophet” starts:

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of our knowledge.

YOU ALREADY HAVE THE ANSWERS AND THE KNOWLEDGE AND THE POWER…OWN IT.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

NO ONE IS ANY WISER THAN YOU ARE…WE CONNECT WITH OTHERS TO GAIN INSIGHT, BUT WE ALREADY POSSESS THE POWER WITHIN OURSELVES, OUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ARE VALID, OTHERS CAN SUPPORT US BUT  VALIDATION MUST COME FROM THE SELF…A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A TRUE TEACHER IS ONE THAT IS SYMBIOTIC, THE STUDENT DOES NOT ONLY GAIN BUT EQUALLY THE TEACHER…EACH ONE TEACHES ONE…NO ONE IS A MASTER BEWARE OF ‘GURU’S’ BECOME YOUR OWN…

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

WE SHARE IN A COMMON EXPERIENCE, BUT FOR EACH, THE LESSON WILL BE DIFFERENT SEARCH FOR THE MEANING…THE TRUTH…YOUR TRUTH…

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

WE EACH HAVE A UNIQUE JOURNEY…

And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of  God and in his understanding of the earth.

DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY AS THIS IS A DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL, BUT ALSO A JOURNEY OF SOUL ELEVATION…IT IS A PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION.

Do the work, work the steps, find YOUR truth, and own it…the creator only creates fine works of art…we are masterpieces, in all our perfect, imperfections…

~Betty LaLuna

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