(a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. Stockholm Syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes, an individual’s response to trauma.)
I began writing this post in the first person plural, ‘we’…it felt safer, less exposed. While many of us can relate to what I’m writing here, I found that the ‘we’ let me distance myself from such personal writing. It was coming from my head, like I have some knowing…when what wants to speak is my heart…with its tender feelings.
Somewhere, somehow when the original wound was created in me, when I was traumatized, a dark misunderstanding took root…that the very one(s) who wounded me also held something I could only get from them. I have believed a lie…that the way back was through the very ones that hurt me. I took responsibility for not being loved..if I only had been who they wanted me to be, had the right words, they would have loved me, included me. Years later (perhaps lifetimes later) even though the original perpetrator of the wound may be physically gone, I still project this painful hurt into the world. When I encounter others who hold something I desire…a wisdom, a teaching, an opportunity…even a simple desire for friendship…and, for whatever reason, the desire is not reciprocated, the original wound rises with all its accompanying pain. I then project onto the person in front of me all the power of the original perpetrator…and all my old beliefs come into play…how can I make them understand and welcome me in…how do I find the magic words that will open their heart to me. I can’t…I never could. Because that very belief is based on the lie. The people upon whom I project are simply agents of my healing, providing me with the opportunity to feel the pain of the trauma…the pain that separated me from my soul. The way back to my heart, to my soul isn’t and won’t ever be through another. As this is healing, I am returning to the truth that no one…ever…should stand between me and my soul. The way back to my heart and my soul is the slow, pain-filled process of taking back the gold that I gave others to hold, the gold that is mine...my own intimate relationship with the divine.
Mary Jo Heyen
Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner
Dream sessions in person, via Skype or on the phone