It can be very difficult to get our head around the level of healing that we can create for ourselves now …
One where suffering no longer needs to be the only option.
My definition of suffering is this: we are trying to survive despite our trauma, despite our history and despite our losses.
When we are locked onto that trajectory, life and living can feel like an enormous challenge – everyday tasks such as going to work, making appointments, meeting with people or planning out your day can send you into anxiety.
And when something goes wrong, or you are faced with a challenge, you can experience fully blown panic.
Worse still, in these times you may hand your power over in ways that cause you to get severely damaged by other people … or you make choices, in your intense pain, that truly are destroying yourself.
This is a terrible situation to be in. It is incredibly difficult to create a better life for yourself when you are operating from this state.
And you may feel powerless to make any changes.
And maybe you can’t see a way for the terror and powerless feelings to stop.
I went through this for a long time, and it wasn’t until I understood WHY this powerless state occurs that I was able to heal these MASSIVE triggers that were consuming my life.
The reason why I was so stuck, and suffering so much pain, is because my beliefs had been high-jacked with fully activated Survival Programs.
And of course, as a result of narcissistic abuse, many of you are still living this horrible reality … which is why I felt compelled to write this article.
It is my deepest wish for this article that it helps make it very, very clear exactly what Survival Programs are, and the promise that self-partnering and up-levelling brings – which is a freedom WAY beyond needing to painfully try and manage our wounds anymore.
Because we don’t when they just no longer exist.
And that is exactly what this article is about – the real bringing home of understanding that there is a Source Truth for us, there is a path forward. There is a level of existence that is our birthright and it’s one that is NOT about attempting to manage wounds.
It is living FREE of wounds.
Especially the ones that are crippling us.
These are the ones that I call – Survival Programs.
What are Survival Programs?
These are inner belief systems and traumas that affect us adversely.
The reason why they do is because when Survival Programs are triggered within us, we experience chemical rushes and terror that can literally feel like we are going to die.
This is when the issue doesn’t necessarily match our emotional response.
It’s NOT logical.
An example may be a woman called Angela being left by a man and feeling like she cannot go on and physically survive and live her life without him.
That could be REGARDLESS of the fact that she is a CEO for a global company and earns five times as much as him.
It doesn’t matter what her family, friends and even her brain tries to tell her to realise the incredible logic of how capable and financially secure she is – her inner belief systems can’t be convinced otherwise.
Another example may be a man called Andrew feeling every time his partner leaves to go out and do her own thing, a terror that she may not return, and a feeling of intense trauma causing him to literally panic.
This is REGARDLESS of the fact that she always returns, she has no intention of leaving him and the couple’s counsellor trying to convince him of that as well.
And no matter how convincingly Andrew tries to remind himself of “the truth” he can’t seem to manage this panic that literally takes him over.
I hope you can understand by these examples that Survival Programs are ANYTHING but logical.
That’s right – they are deeply emotional – as are all our belief systems.
And belief systems with high emotional content within them can’t be managed cognitively, because that is not where they are based or generating their energy from.
So why does Angela have the terror every time a man leaves her that she can’t cope and will die, even though she earns six figures?
And, why does Andrew panic every time a love partner leaves the house, even though she would never leave him or hurt him and she always returns?
Because of Survival Programs.
Angela’s Survival Program is one SO MANY women carry – “I can’t survive without a man.”
It’s a universal one amongst women, deeply entrenched within us, that virtually all of us inherited from our ancestors through our DNA … unless our previous female ancestors had already healed and up-levelled that belief.
And most hadn’t.
Andrew’s Survival Program was caused in childhood. When he was very young, his mother used to leave him unattended to. And as an infant and young child he had no ability to be a Source of love, approval, security and survival to himself. He was highly co-dependently reliant on his mother.
When she regularly abandoned him, he was filled with the terror of “When she leaves me I could die”.
As an adult man this terrible trauma still lived inside him.
Both Angela and Andrew were feeling powerful destabilising emotions that the present day logic did NOT agree with … but none of that matters when we are living under the influence of Survival Programs.
And they literally throttle us until we heal them.
Narcissists – The Activators Of Our Survival Programs
The purpose of every relationship is to reflect back and trigger unhealed parts as an offering towards personal and collective evolution.
When in relationship with a narcissist magnify this substantially because narcissists smash our Survival Programs up to the surface.
Meaning … our BIGGEST unconscious fears and terrors … the most vulnerable, fearful parts of ourselves that we have disowned, don’t want to face, don’t like about ourselves or never even knew existed because we were unconscious and these fears and “stuff” had just always been our “normal”.
When narcissistic abuse strikes, there is nothing “liveable” and “normal” about what we are going through.
We wake up to our worst possible nightmares.
These are examples of only some of the terrible Survival Programs that narcissists find, smash and trigger.
“If people leave me I’ll die”
“If I can’t stop this person acting crazily I’ll die”
“If I don’t convince this person I didn’t do the wrong thing I’ll die”
“If I don’t win this person’s love and approval I’ll die.”
“If I don’t help this person, I’ll lose them and then I’ll die.”
(Remember the feelings of “dying” equates to the young undeveloped fears of “I can’t be a Source of love, approval, security and survival to myself”).
The illusion is that this terror started with the narcissist.
Yet it didn’t – it’s old.
It was established in childhood, or we were born with it (in our DNA from ancestors) and then it repeated in childhood.
Survival Programs are BIG … They are powerful … and they run our Life in terrible ways.
Until we heal them.
And we can’t achieve that by trying to “think” our way out of them.
The Thinking/Learning Model is Not Healing Survival Programs
Thinking and learning has been ingrained into us as the way to change something about ourselves.
But … if you are trying to defeat “a way of being” which is a Survival Program with a huge amount of terrorised emotional content within it, NO amount of “thinking” or “learning” is going to change what you choose and generate with life.
This is where so many people go wrong – they try to create cognitively a change that their subconscious quite frankly is NOT having.
Let me explain with an example.
Mary’s father cheated repeatedly on her mother and when Mary was a young teen he up and left for good. Her mother was always depressed, emotionally unavailable and sad. She was also at times so angry she would lash out at Mary and take out her pain on her. When Mary’s father left, her Mother had several suicide attempts.
Mary was always trying to help her mother and hold her together. Sometimes it would work but usually it didn’t.
Mary accumulated these deep traumas inside herself – “Men cheat and lie and destroy their woman”, and “The people I love are too hurt to look after me, if I can fix them then I can survive.”
Mary had been in therapy for years, because her pattern was the same as her mother’s. Men who cheated and left her, and her suffering deep depression and anxiety.
She understood the pattern, she talked about it with her therapist and learnt all about the warning signs of cheaters. Men who had a history of cheating, men who oogled other women, and men who were jealous and controlling and accusing their partners of being unfaithful … among many other signs.
Mary was determined to not repeat the pattern by the time she met Peter, who was handsome, attentive and so into her. Before long they were in a relationship together. Mary had done her homework as per her therapist’s suggestion and asked Peter some pertinent questions.
Peter admitted to Mary that he had cheated on previous partners. He told her the reasons for this – one woman had told him she did not love him anymore and wanted to stay with him to see if the love could rekindle. Peter had said because of the pain of not feeling her love – it wasn’t right – but he fell into the arms of another woman.
Mary pondered what he said and thought, I can understand this.
He also stated that when he was younger he did play up more regularly, but that was before he worked on himself, understood how much pain it causes and that was not his makeup now.
Mary believed him.
One day when out to lunch Mary went to the toilet, was walking back to the table and saw Peter looking a slim blonde up and down who was walking past him.
Peter saw her notice this and he quickly said, “I was thinking how gorgeous that outfit would look on you darling.”
Even though Mary’s heart sunk, she chose to believe him.
After a few months Mary started feeling very uneasy when she wanted to do things without Peter. He would get moody and would often question her over and above the normal range of “concern”.
It got worse … he started making demands about her not spending any time alone with other men, and wanted to know the marital and otherwise status of the men she worked with.
Mary was still having counselling, and she reported honestly what was going on. Her therapist advised her she was back in the same pattern again with a man who was showing all the signs of being a cheater.
Mary went home and talked to Peter honestly about her concerns and said to him she would need to end the relationship. Peter broke down and cried and said that there was no way he would ever cheat on her, and that he had abandonment fears, loved her so much, needed her help and wanted to work through things with her.
Mary capitulated. She felt his pain intensely, held him and declared how much she loved him and would stand by him and they could heal all of this together.
Two years later Mary was still in therapy, shattered and battered, and totally hooked and addicted to him, and trying harder and harder to fix the relationship whilst losing more and more pieces of herself.
Within the two years of being with Peter she had discovered three of Peter’s affairs and the whole time had been terrorized by his escalating jealousy and possessiveness.
This was the WORST relationship Mary had had to date with a cheater.
And this is what happens, when we haven’t healed our Survival Programs … Life ups the ante to get our attention so that we do.
Sooo why had this happened to Mary, despite learning the warning signs of cheaters and knowing this was a pattern that she needed to stop repeating from the trauma of her childhood?
Because the trauma STILL lived inside her.
It had never been released or healed.
And all the “information” in the world was not going to achieve that!
The Brain Always Follows the Subconscious Programs
The mind “decisions” we make are always going to default back in alignment with our subconscious programming. Meaning we always “get with and stay with” whatever our subconscious programming is.
Everyone’s mind comes up with all of the justifications and excuses as to why we should … even when the Infinitely Wise part of our Inner Being is trying to warn us otherwise.
Remember how Mary’s heart sunk when Peter told her the lie, “I was thinking that outfit would look gorgeous on you”?
That was Mary’s Infinite Wisdom TELLING her point blank it was a lie.
But her mind quickly talked her out of it.
We’ve all had the gut warning and then the “excuse” in our mind takes over … and later, down the track, we found out JUST how costly it was to go against that gut warning.
Narcissistic abuse is FULL of those times.
And … we have all listened to someone else make “justifications” to do something or stay with someone – when as an outsider looking in, we can CLEARLY see that the excuses are delusional and this person is totally making up a version to convince themselves in order to do something (or not do something) that we KNOW is going to end very badly.
We are conscious, but they are still asleep – they are unconscious to their choices.
And because we care about this person we may do what a good friend does; we speak up – we don’t just tell them what they want to hear. We point out in no uncertain terms that they are crazy in thinking that, and the real facts are soooo obvious.
We are amazed – why can’t they see them?
After investing all that energy, it seemed they were listening, and you hope “a shift” happened – yet you later hear they made their original choice, more drama and pain happened and they still aren’t getting it!
Maybe we have all been that good friend, as well as the person, at times, who doesn’t HEAR the “information”.
Why can’t we hear information at times?
Why can’t we embody it?
The reason is very scientific, conclusive and irrefutable. And neuro-scientists are proving it now.
The reason is, because we can only choose and hang on to thoughts that are within the range of our existing subconscious programming on any given topic.
The most prominent subconscious programming we have are the messages we took on which evoked the greatest emotional charge within us.
Trauma is high emotional content.
Belief systems with high emotional traumatic content are Survival Programs.
A child who is in terror of not receiving love, approval, security and survival has high emotional trauma. Mary’s Survival Programs regarding her Father and her Mother were deeply embedded within her.
Her thoughts and subsequent choices brought her the validity of “Men cheat and lie and destroy their woman”, and “This person I love is too hurt to look after me, if I can fix them then I can survive.”
In other words, her thoughts organized her in a way (despite the presenting evidence) to ensure that these beliefs were lived out as True.
That’s what subconscious beliefs with powerful emotional content do – they generate the truth of the belief to the letter until re-programmed.
So … in real terms this is exactly WHY she made excuses for Peter, and gave into him every time he appealed to her to be “fixed” by her.
And when Mary contemplated letting go of Peter (as her counsellor was trying every week to get her to build towards) Mary literally felt a panic so extreme it was a feeling like she would die.
I can assure you this was REAL for Mary and as powerful as if it WAS real. (Just as Survival Programs are for all of us when activated).
So … here was the counsellor (and Mary) trying to convince Mary to let go of Peter and create her own life, yet the almighty power of the Subconscious Programs inside her went like this, “You are a child and powerless. You are not getting your needs met, and you can’t survive unless you do. If you don’t fix this person who is not meeting your needs, then you are going to die.”
Now maybe you understand … the insane power of those terrors and panics you have felt (or still feel) when trying to get away, stay away, hold No Contact and move on to generate a completely different Life – free of the past patterns and abuse.
And the literal barrage of “excuses” and justifications” your mind gives you to get you to stay attached to the patterns and abuse.
So that the beliefs get to live out AS TRUE.
If you feel terror and pain emotionally – it is TRUE for you – and NO amount of logical discussion is going to shift you out of that terror.
In fact, the more you try to argue with the terror of that subconscious program with mere logic, the more you are tearing at yourself, because your subconscious is NOT having it!
It 100% believes death is imminent if you let go … and it is doing EVERYTHING not to.
This is why IF people do let go without reprogramming these crippling Survival Programs the agony is almost annihilating.
People feel like they are dying – they can’t eat, can’t function and feel the incredible trauma and panic of wanting to constantly reconnect and having to try to use extreme willpower or distractions to stay away.
The truth is most people only get out when things have got so bad that the belief “I will die if I stay” has matched the power of the belief “I will die if I leave.”
And those two beliefs don’t cancel each other out.
Either way you feel like you will die.
I promise you so many people just don’t ever heal from this – they have to take up medication or another addiction to numb out the emotional agony.
Or, their subconscious will find and attach to another replacement to fulfil the truth of the belief and the cycle starts all over again.
Just as Mary did with Peter.
And illogically, tragically and devastatingly until reprogrammed, the brain will find every loophole and every justification to bring this to pass.
How Do We Heal Survival Programs?
We heal Survival Programs the same way we heal all our belief systems that are not serving us.
We stop trying to think our way out of them, and we go into our body and toward the trauma in order to track it through to it’s origin. Then we embrace it, load up the emotional energy of it and release it out of our body, which creates the space to bring in healthier beliefs that do serve us on that topic.
Then … no longer are we operating under the influence of that Survival Program within us.
We have midwifed our evolution beyond the trauma into a state of being which is healthy and solid instead.
Then there are no triggers to manage, rather there is a calm wisdom in its place now. And we stop convincing ourselves of ways to keep ourselves connected to more of that trauma and hurt.
Our thoughts have just become healthy – without effort – instead.
Not only have we ceased thinking, showing up as, and generating more of the trauma – we also stop being attracted to and attractive to who and what represents that trauma.
Sometimes when we have up-levelled a Survival Program we get the chance to graduate in “real life”.
An example I share in my Webinar Groups is a personal one.
It’s this …
My worst previous Survival Program was, “If people I love turn their back on me I’ll die”.
Both narcs used this against me horribly, and at those times of “sudden abandonment” my sensibility would go out the window.
By the time I was with narc #2 I had healed tons – but not yet this abandonment terror.
And again I found myself doing what I did with narc #1. I would phone and text incessantly … I was not able to let go. I even threw myself onto the bonnet of the car when he tried to drive off. Once I clung to his leg as he dragged me along.
When he did manage to get away from me, after me being prepared to throw all boundaries and rights out the window, and agree to any insane condition he would lay down … I would shake and be terrorised like a 3 year old. I would vomit, I would hyperventilate.
I FELT like I was going to die.
Not pretty …
Was this an adult woman?
No! It was my terrified 3-year-old inside me taking over.
It wasn’t until after narc #2 and up-levelling my Inner Child from that Survival Program terror with Quanta Freedom Healing shifts, that she was able to get well regarding “abandonment” and feel safe and secure with me and her ability to be in Life without an external parent / partner needing to fix her regarding that terror.
Then I got to experience the results of my up-levelling in REAL time!
A couple of years ago, I was seeing a gentleman and we were starting to connect. He was gorgeous, smart, lovely and dreamy (oh so dreamy!!) … yet something cropped up.
I spoke up and questioned when my gut told me “something is not right.”
He twisted and turned and threatened abandonment with his answer.
If I continued on I would have been self-abandoning. I would have absolutely been selling myself out, because my intuition was very clear. It screamed “Do not proceed.”
Rather than the old me feeling terrorised, abandoned and let down – instead THIS time I didn’t self-abandon.
Yay! I ended it. Easily!
I had no fear, no regrets, and no pain.
I did it respectfully, calmly, lovingly and clearly, without surges of nasty chemical compounds occurring in my body.
I graduated! Double Yay!
My Inner Child was not terrified about letting go. She was nestled inside me, happily secure saying, “Yeah, we don’t want him Mum! Not good enough for us. Now what are we doing today?”
Yippee! This was the happiest and most exciting break up I had ever known!
Knowledge was never going to grant me that relief and evolution. It was only the work done directly in my body that could have ever created such a shift.
Because that is EXACTLY what our Survival Programs require.
So …. I hope this article has explained a LOT to you and given you hope that there is a way out of the nightmare of Survival Programs.
And if you strongly relate to this article, I highly recommend that you sign up for my next free Tele-class where I will not only show you how to heal from survival programs, but I will show you how to unravel each and every insidious aspect of narcissistic abuse.
Which then allows you to leave the agony behind and start Thriving in your new abuse free life – just as thousands of people in this community have done already.
And I promise you, in time-frames that you may never believed were possible, you will not know yourself when you do!
Because such is the power of healing when we do it directly in our bodies.
As always I look forward to your comments and questions.
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