Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Reading this, explains why I feel disconnected, numb…

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My last blog, I stated about my numb, disconnected state.

The overwhelming info I have processed recently about the deeper impact of childhood sexual abuse, has put me into a kind of shock state.


http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/impact_of_childhood_sexual_abuse.html

HYPO-AROUSAL AND SHUTTING DOWN BY VICTIMS

Some adult sexual abuse survivors report a period of withdrawal and shutting down from the world where they lose energy, collapse, and may want to sleep or hide. This reaction is a sign of trauma and relates to how the ANS evokes a survival method of being in a “freeze” state in an effort (often unsuccessful) of anticipating and escaping the terror of possible opportunities of further sexual abuse. In this reaction the victim may also dissociate or “split-off” to accentuate the withdrawal process from the world and from possible further abuse (Ogden:2008). Hypo-arousal was found in trauma studies by Lanius, as noted by Ogden(2008), to occur in about one third of the abuse victims.

Hypo-arousal can cause losses in memory, motor weakness in the body, paralysis, numbness of feelings and sensations, confusion states, and deficits in attention(Ogden:2008). Victims often report a sense of separation from their body, no sensation in parts of their body, and an appearance of passivity.

This approach can leave the person unable to mount a defence if required and can be maladapted to their environment as its leaves them as easy prey to any person around them. This reaction, just like the hyper-vigilant reaction both are triggered by the heightened state of body senses which get triggered and then act to switch the child’s Autonomic Nervous System(ANS) into either of these modes or states. Both states are recognized symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome(PTSD), and both can co-exist and activate independently depending on what triggers the victim.

In life these people may “freeze” and act like victims as their whole system goes into a form of shock and their attention orientation to the outside world recedes and pulls back into a protective state, much like a snail receding back into its shell.

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

2 thoughts on “Reading this, explains why I feel disconnected, numb…

  1. I’m curious about this freeze state. Over the years I have found a pattern when I have been in a sexually abusive situation. Clearly I want no part of it but my body just stalls out. I will just stand or lay there unable to do anything until it is over. Sometimes I worry it will just be worse if I don’t go along with it.

    • I can totally understand why this has happened for you while enduring abuse. As a child and teenager, I froze too during abuse and this can continue into adulthood.

      I also as a teenager learned I got more hurt, when I fought back, so learned to just accept what was happening, to get hurt less.

      I’m so sorry you have endured sexual abuse too ❤ ❤