"In the dead of night, you hear the cry of a hawk, and your body freezes with fear. Your eyes are wide, your blood is pumping, and your heart is in your throat. Without a moment to think, you are in fight-or-flight mode, a primal instinctual response to an imaginary attack.
You curse yourself for overreacting. It was just a hawk, you tell yourself, but you are not responding to the cool light of present-day logic. Your brain is unable to perform to its optimum level because it is crushed under the weight of a Ten-Ton Trauma. The past is present.
Trauma — Close Encounters of the Violent Kind
Trauma usually involves experiences that overwhelm, shock, or terrify you. It is often associated with powerlessness and shame, and it goes beyond the much talked about incidents of car crashes and war zones. You can experience trauma as a result of the accumulation of adverse experiences during childhood or adulthood, and at the hands of your caregivers, partner, or a complete stranger. Whether you are the survivor of the terrifying experience, or you witness it happening to someone else, you can still end up with these same hopeless messages:
· I am powerless
· Life is hopeless
· No one cares
· The world is unsafe
· No one can be trusted
· I feel disconnected from myself, others, and the world around me
· I am broken.
Trauma can result in a belief that it is no longer possible to
· have control;
· have connection; and
· have meaning."
Read more in Beyond the Blue, out now in paperback and ebook.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, author of Beyond the Blue, and LGBTQ+ advocate