Tag Archives: trauma

The Story of Jack

CW: Child abuse This is a true story, but I've changed the names. Once upon a time, there was a boy named Jack. His father, Rick, was a police officer, and his mother, Beth, worked an office job. Jack was 4 years old, full of energy and wanted to play a lot, like a normal healthy kid. I don't know why, but Jack's mother got angry with Jack a lot, and Jack would cry. This, for some reason, made his mother even more angry and she'd yell at him not to cry. Obviously, that would make him more upset, and he'd cry louder, ...

The 4F Trauma Responses

The author Pete Walker talks about 4 different trauma responses in his book and on his website. They are: Fight Flight Freeze Fawn Fight response is where the person uses anger and control in order to take their frustrations out on others, to feel more powerful and better than someone else in order to avoid the pain of feeling powerless. They believe that they can create a feeling of safety by having control over the people around them. A lot of narcissists and abusers are fight types. This is probably how a lot of kids turn into bullies. Flight response people strive ...

Forgiveness

Have you ever tried to tell someone about an abusive person in your past, and they said you should forgive them and move on? How did that make you feel? I get angry when people suggest things like that, as if I can just flip a switch and forgive them and suddenly that makes everything okay. It does not. There's no off-switch for trauma. Wouldn't it be nice if there was? I'm going to go all analytical here about the concept of Forgiveness, starting with the dictionary definition of the word: Definition of forgive, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: transitive verb to cease ...

How I manage my Emotional Flashbacks

What is an emotional flashback? Pete Walker describes it like this: "Emotional flashbacks are sudden and often prolonged regressions ('amygdala hijackings') to the frightening circumstances of childhood. They are typically experienced as intense and confusing episodes of fear and/or despair - or as sorrowful and/or enraged reactions to this fear and despair. Emotional flashbacks are especially painful because the inner critic typically overlays them with toxic shame, inhibiting the individual from seeking comfort and support, isolating him in an overwhelming and humiliating sense of defectiveness." It's kind of like being stuck in a dark tunnel. I can't see who I am anymore, ...

Child Abuse and Emotional Neglect

Hitting Children I've pretty much always believed that hitting kids is abuse and can't possibly be good for them in any way. It doesn't teach them right from wrong or whatever, it only teaches them to fear their parents. I used to think that my parents were pretty good because they didn't hit me. Except for that one time my dad hit me when I didn't do some or other thing he asked me to do immediately. I don't remember what I did, or what he wanted me to do. I only remember the look on his face, and how angry I ...

There Is No Such Thing As “Small Trauma”, and Abuse is Really Common

I've noticed that some people downplay their trauma quite a lot if they didn't experience "big" trauma like physical abuse or sexual abuse. They might say that their traumas are "small" in comparison to "big" traumas like physical or sexual abuse. It's understandable why they would do this, but trauma is not a competition! Trauma is trauma. I was listening to a podcast the other day about trauma. They were talking about how even "minor" things that don't qualify as abuse can cause trauma. As an example the one person recalled a situation where a mother and daughter were walking in ...

How I learned to say NO

Googling "how to say no" brings up a lot of advice articles, with tips for how to say it politely, and a few really basic things about why it's hard to say no... but I found those somewhat lacking. For me it was never a matter of finding the right words, it was about really genuinely understanding why the fuck it's been so hard, and actually finding solutions for the underlying causes. Why is it so hard to say no? Saying no feels like rebellion Rebelling as a kid meant I'd be in trouble, and being in trouble was scary, therefore saying no ...