Freeing ourselves from the complex that binds us
Every crisis entails opportunity – the father complex that binds us and how do we break this strain?
In “Enough as you are: believe in yourself": we like to think we can accomplish anything if we set our minds to it, still clients such as Valerie came to the clinic citing: anxiety attacks with feelings of inadequacy, rumination, persistent worry were the chief complaints. She further states, there is an inner critical voice murmuring: “you can do better than this……. on and on and on……. What is going on here?
Under stressful circumstances, one is yearning for protection, certainty and guidance, one is likely to retreat into infantile periods where one is being safely protected and contained and the first figure to provide this shelter of protection is likely to be the father. He is the nurturer and protector, but also a disciplinarian, rule-setter and enforcer.
What only dad can do
The father is the first other that the daughter came into contact with, he is the guideway to the external world. Fathers broadly tend to foster ease with competition, rough-and-tumble play, and risk-taking in the greater world – emphasizing independence and agency. He guides his daughter in well-rounded skills to navigate the world. In developmental psychology, between age six and twelve, the father is the “lawgiver” if emotionally distant or absent, it can be internalized as the inner critics and hence the inner voice murmuring.
Valerie further states I’m always hoping for Phoenix” 望女成凤” and daddy’s little jacket “父亲的小棉袄” - putting up the facade and obligation to be a caring, docile and obedient daughter. Even though now I am chartering my own life, I still feel restless by these invisible ties. Our relationship with our fathers can by murky territory. It is full of karmic binds and contracts that have long served their purpose. It is time for something new and alive. A new ground in which we have let go of the old conditioning to build something new as two distinct individuals.
Redeeming the father
I invite you to feel on this day the relationship you have or had with your father and feel how it lives in you. When trying to keep fathers in the past is that unresolved past is never really in the past. It constantly intrudes into the present, seeking ways to express itself in the here and now. So where do we begin? I want to outline the first part of the process by which we can begin to make peace with our father. Gaining understanding is the first priority.
Step1: Debriefing: Identity the repressed emotions
We must be able to identify our problems clearly if we are going to be able to resolve them effectively.
Step2: Get the facts
Step 3: Identify family secrets and myths
Step 4: Speak the unspoken
Step 5: Rewrite the history
Step 6: Process the losses
Step 7: Wait
Step 8: Reconcile
Step 9: Invite others to share your journey
Step 10: Explore new roles
Step 11: Redeem the past
Wendy Zhao is a psychologist and executive coach, the range of treatments includes business, psychology and family matters. Her specialties focus on helping clients through crisis and transformation, dealing with anxiety and stress-related difficulties, and promoting clients’ personal growth and leadership development.
Dr. Wendy offers sessions in the Body & Soul Medical Clinics - Hongmei Road (Minhang), click here to schedule a consultation appointment with her.