My Entire Life Has Been One Great Big Traumatic Adaptation to Adverse Childhood Experiences
Even my positive adaptations like writing this post is an adaptation to escape into a world where I am safe and in total control. When I was a child I learned how to seek safety in books and libraries. Now I find connection to myself and to my world by blogging.
The Body IS The Mind
“It is more productive to see aggression or depression, arrogance or passivity as learned behaviors: Somewhere along the line, the patient came to believe that he or she could survive only if he or she was tough, invisible, or absent, or that it was safer to give up. Like traumatic memories that keep intruding until they are laid to rest. Traumatic adaptations continue until the organism feels safe and integrates all the parts of itself that are stuck in fighting or warding off the trauma.” –The Body Keeps the Score, (2014) page 280.
As an adult, am I an unteachable adaptation of my childhood trauma or mature adult adaptable to reality?
|Christ Consciousness||“I and the Father are One“|
with God IS The Treatment
Good and Evil Do Not Exist
|Buddha Mind||Non-Dual Consciousness|
Existence is formless and timeless
Liberate Your Conditioned Mind
Emergency open heart bypass surgery
WELL-BEING REQUIRES BOTH: Fight (Expand) and Flight (Contract)
Fight or Flight are natural responses to be refined and cultivated. A caveman’s fight is to kill and a gentleman’s fight is to teach yoga. One troubled teenagers fight is to act out his trauma by committing petty crimes and another traumatized teen may use his pain to become a bedroom guitarist.
Depending on our personal histories, we build stronger patterns of connection (fight) or stronger patterns of protection (flight). It has taken me a while to understand that fight or flight are not necessarily negative terms. As Peter Levine explains, every action we take is either an expansion (fight) or contraction (flight).
None of us can stay permanently engage with the world and the people around us from our patterns of connection. It is unreasonable, and unattainable, expectation in ourselves and others. In fact, our ability to recognize when we move into a place of protection (flight) and find our way back into connection (fight) that is the hallmark of resilience.
Resilience is an outcome of a nervous system that moves from patterns of connection to protection and back to connection with some ease. Sometimes I stay home for days at at time and then suddenly I will jump up and join the Culver City Historical Society or something like that.
ARE MY NEURAL PATHWAYS CLEAR OR AM I IN SUB-CONSCIOUS MEMORY? Am I in homeostasis & equilibrium or traumatic adaptation of chronic survival mode?
Whenever we think about patterns of protection and talk about survival responses, we want to add the word adaptive. As insane, incongruous, or inexplicable as our thoughts, feelings, or actions may seem, wee need to remember the autonomic nervous system is always working by adapting to ensure our survival. While it may not be necessary, the nervous system feels a need and takes action. By viewing from that autonomic perspective at our own responses and at the responses of the people around us that we are able to avoid becoming locked into our reptilian brains and expand into our pre-frontal cortex.
Think of a time when you moved into an adaptive response, a contracting moment of protection that brought you into mobilization or shutdown. With an open mind, spend a moment and visualize the adaptive survival response. What did your nervous system sense? How did the survival response protect you? If you were not in your own safe protective contraction, what might be happening to you? What is the worst that could possibly happen? Now remember a time when someone around you moved into their own adaptive survival response. What was going on with them? –Anchored, Chapter 6