The Core of Trauma

(Written in August 2011)

I told Eleanor about how I’m feeling, waves of discouragement, everything I think of doing feels like an impossible chore, I just want to lie down and quit.  She said “This is the core of trauma.”  She said she’d just read it in Peter Levine.  She brought me the book.

In an Unspoken Voice, p 49

“In freezing, your muscles stiffen against a mortal blow, and you feel ‘scared stiff.’  On the other hand, when you experience death as being unequivocally imminent  …  your muscles collapse as though they have lost all their energy.  In this ‘default’ reaction (when it has become chronic, as it does in trauma) you feel that you are in a state of helpless resignation and lack the energy to fuel your life and move forward.  This collapse, defeat and loss of the will to live are at the very core of deep trauma.”

This is exactly how I was feeling yesterday, July 3, 2013.  I had completely lost the will to live.  Fortunately, I had a Somatic Experiencing session and it helped a lot.

The full post of “The Collapse Phase” has more material.

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