While there are some men who grew up with a father who did what he could to protect them and to provide them with a sense of safety and security, there are others who had a radically different father. As a result, this would have been someone who they didn’t feel safe around and perhaps did their best to avoid.
Therefore, the person who was supposed to settle the ship, so to speak, would have been the one who did the complete opposite. The area that should have been a safe haven, their home, would have been somewhere that often terrified them.
A War Zone
Due to how small and defenceless they were at this stage of their life, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything about what was going on. It would have been as though they were living with an unpredictable and dangerous giant.
Regardless of how harmless their father appeared to be to other adults, in their eyes, he would have been terrifying. It is likely that how he behaved around others in the outside world was radically different from how it behaved whilst he was at home.
If they had described what their father was like behind closed doors to someone who he worked with or to a friend of his, what they said could have ended up being dismissed. It might have been as though one was talking about someone else entirely.
Another person may have believed that one was just making it up and that there was something wrong with them, for instance. It may have even been assumed that one was simply an attention seeker.
Back To Reality
However, thanks to how petrified they were of their father, and the fact that their survival partly rested upon this person, they most likely wouldn’t have said anything to anyone. Doing so would have been seen as something that would have caused them even more harm.
Another thing that would have played a part here is that how they were treated would have been what was normal, so what was going on might not have even stood out. It was not as though they would have had another way of experiencing life with which to compare their experience with.
Also, as they were egocentric at this stage of their life and would have taken was going on personally, a big part of them would have believed that they deserved to be treated this way. So, even if there was a part of them couldn’t accept what was going on and would have loved to have killed their own father, an even bigger part of them would have felt comfortable with what was going on.
If there was a small part of them that couldn’t accept what was going on, this would have been fuelled by their fight instinct/aggression. There is, of course, the chance that this part of them had to be completely split-off (disconnected from) due to how unsafe they felt.
When they were around him, they may have been overly submissive, with this being an expression of the ‘fawn response’. Their attention would have had to have been solely on the external world.
It wouldn’t have been safe enough for them to relax into their body and to be in tune with themselves, they would have had to have been on alert at all times and living in their head would have allowed this to occur and stopped them from being overwhelmed with pain. They would have still been physically harmed but this would have been a way for them to try to do something about what was going on, providing them with a sense of control.
A Thing of The Past
Many years may have passed since this stage of their life but what took place could still be defining their life. It won’t matter if they can remember what took place as the signs will be there.
For one thing, they could still live in their head and be totally out of touch with their needs and feelings. Further, they could generally come across as submissive (the fawn response) and find out hard to take action (the freeze response).
Stuck In The Past
Therefore, although many years will have passed, their body will carry the trauma that they experienced as a child and still utilise the different survival responses that they experienced during this time. There will be many layers of fear, anxiety and terror inside them.
In addition to this, they will be many layers of sadness, rage, toxic shame, guilt, powerlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness. For them to no longer be submissive and to let go of their passivity, it will be essential for them to reintegrate their fight instinct/aggression.
Re-creating The Past
They may find that they often come into contact with men who intimidate them, and this will show that these men are mirroring back what they need to resolve in relation to their own inner father. Ultimately, one will be projecting the father that they had as a child into these people.
Once they start to heal the wounds that relate to their father, they will be able to become a more integrated human being and to express their true-self. Through doing this, their external reality will gradually change.
If a man can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.