When we experience trauma, we go into fight or flight mode, which is really fight. Even flight is a form of fight. But when fight doesn’t work for whatever reason, we get caught, we fail, we’re physically pinned down, then we eventually move into freeze mode and we give up. There, we get stuck.
Even after we’ve been saved from the trauma, when we’re no longer in the situation and we’ve moved on. Even and especially if the trauma happened when we were very young. We can get stuck perpetually in freeze mode.
What this looks like is whenever things get really hard, when we try really hard and it doesn’t work out, then we fall into despair and shame, believing it was never going to work out for us anyway. And we give up because we believe there’s no other option.
This cycle over and over again perpetuates our belief that things can’t work out for us. And the more we give up, the more we believe we aren’t capable of handling hard things.
Yes, we need to heal our shame, yes we need to increase our threshold for giving up, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that every time this happens, we are retraumatized, solidifying our initial trauma or traumas.
So, how do we break out of freeze mode?
Well, remember the phase before freeze mode? Fight mode. We often can’t just move from freeze mode straight to healthy emotional resilience and self-knowing.
The freeze mode is so paralyzing, so rigid in our bodies from being re-triggered over and over and over again, that we have to break the inner structures with a force so great it’s jarring.
Which means fighting. Fighting like hell. Fighting for your life.
To other people, it may look like a huge overreaction, like chaos, like you’re not acting like yourself, and that’s because you’re not. You are literally learning a new way of being.
When everything about you stems from the roots of trauma, healing that trauma will result in unlearning everything about yourself and getting to know the you you’ve never even really known.
If the trauma happened when you were really young, you may not even have childhood memories of carefree desire to look back on. You may only remember fear. All that means is the roots are deep, But it also means the possibilities of healing are endless.
Fighting for your life looks like blurting out how you’re really feeling in uncomfortable moments because it’s okay and you’re allowed to do that. It looks like setting boundaries everywhere you’ve never set boundaries before because it’s okay and you’re allowed to do that. It looks like leaving friends behind because that’s okay and you’re allowed to do that. It looks like quitting your job because that’s okay and you’re allowed to do that. It looks like deciding you get to live an entirely different life than the one you’re in because that’s okay and you’re allowed to do that.
It’s realizing that you do get to make decisions that live in your heart and in your soul. And to do this, you’ll have to fight like hell to not fall back into freeze mode.
And people will judge, and people will shame, and people will tell you you’re crazy, and people will think you’re delusional, and people will not understand why all of a sudden you’re making rash and erratic decisions. Why can’t you just stay in your place? Why can’t you just live the life all of us over here are already living?
But, if you’ve dealt with this kind of trauma, then you may already be intimately familiar with the choice between continuing to live or not continuing to live. You already know that not living is an option. So, if you’re choosing to live, then by god you get to decide what kind of life that will be.
So, you fight. And you fight. And you fight. You fight for that sliver of freedom that you know for damn sure has your name on it. You fight for your place in this world. The place that exists just. for. you. You know that your soul chose to travel the fucking galaxy all the way into your mother’s womb to be born in this life for a fucking reason.
And no trauma is going to stop you now. Because now you know better. You’re older, you’re stronger, you’re feistier, you’re bolder, you’re capable, you’re competent, you are going to learn to stand on your own two feet if it kills you. Because you know it won’t.
Deep down, you know your soul is cut from the cloth of freedom. And you’re meant to raise your flag high in the sky to let all the other ones know that freedom does exist. Because it does. Because there’s no other option. Because what purpose is there to living life if we don’t get to live our life?
Do you feel it in your bones? In your aching womb? In your beating heart?
It’s time to fight. Fight for your life.