As per my last post, I have been really struggling. Ongoing trauma issues in my life and a lack of support for that, can be really hard to deal with.
Childhood complex trauma survivors – have to unconsciously formulate coping strategies, that help them survive the ongoing abuse and trauma being endured. These ways of coping – continue on into adulthood.
One of my coping ways from childhood which still occurs now – is ‘Freeze’. Which is said by Pete Walker – to be the trauma typology of dissociating. And is the hardest to treat and heal – of the four types of trauma responses of Flight, Fight, Freeze, Fawn.
See here for more info https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/about1
As per Pete Walker… The freeze response, also known as the camouflage response, often triggers the individual into hiding, isolating and eschewing human contact as much as possible. This type can be so frozen in retreat mode that it seems as if their starter button is stuck in the “off” position. It is usually the most profoundly abandoned child – “the lost child” – who is forced to “choose” and habituate to the freeze response (the most primitive of the 4Fs). Unable to successfully employ fight, flight or fawn responses, the freeze type’s defenses develop around classical dissociation, which allows him to disconnect from experiencing his abandonment pain, and protects him from risky social interactions – any of which might trigger feelings of being reabandoned.
I also have the trauma response of Fawn, which I have realised is something I display in my therapy relationship. Whenever threatened with any perceived threat of my counsellors withdrawal of support, or criticism of my efforts to deal with issues, or anything negative, I end up apologising – even when not appropriate/needed. It echoes my relationship with my mother…. I am hurt – but rather than face abandonment – I will do and say whatever I think she wants.
So, when overwhelmed and feeling like I have no support – it leads to me shutting down. I feel the hopelessness that is a common symptom with complex trauma, and I withdraw completely into my shell. Blocking out as much as I possibly can. It’s still my method of survival. Only now, I am more aware of what is happening.
But, this emotional shut down, this dissociating and this checking out emotionally – doesn’t last. And I know that this period of time is far less than previously in my life, when it would last for weeks.
This is progress and even though I wish I were over all this complex trauma stuff…. I’m aware I am not, and that’s okay.
All I can do, is keep trying.
I have to, because I have children who depend on me for emotional, psychological support. And I cannot fail them.
I won’t fail them.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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