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Trauma Response


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Trauma is a physiological expression in the body. It is a reflex. When the body is in danger, whether physically, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally, survival is at the forefront. There are four reflex responses or our trauma response.


They are:

1. Fight

2. Flight

3. Freeze

4. Appease


1. Fight

If I was getting physically assaulted, my fight response may look like hitting, fighting back or screaming. But, if I felt assaulted in my emotional, mental, or spiritual bodies, my response might be anger, or using sarcasm, or making fun of someone. More about these wounds here.


2. Flight

When a flight response is our reflex in a physically, dangerous situation, we would run or flee. We get ourselves out of there. Sometimes we may even flee with emotional, mental, or spiritual "danger" but many times we check out and we just are simply gone. We may busy ourselves. We might break connections if we feel spiritually threatened.


3. Freeze

If our response is freeze, we become unable to move. We have all had these times when we have felt paralyzed physically. We are unable to think or feel and we just shut down.


4. Appease

I've heard the word fawn used as well as appease and this is where we don't fight we allow. It is a valid response. A lot of shame has resulted from someone being sexually assaulted and the trauma response was the appease. If this happened to you, I am so sorry for the compounded suffering you have had to endure. Your reflex for survival has done you well. Sometimes appease is the best plan


Non-physical danger may have the appease response disguising itself as service. Women especially might get lost in helping others. This might be a trauma response. We go help someone which is great, but we need to be very careful and be aware that the service might be a trauma response and this desire to help may be a wound that is showing up for us.






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© 2020 Mechelle Wingle

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