Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti LICSW, MSW
Working with trauma survivors, there are patterns that come up again and again. One is the persistence and intensity of fearful feelings in the face of change. Trauma survivors brace themselves against “the other shoe dropping” or “the devil you don’t know” and will tolerate abusive partners, loveless marriages, demeaning work, and unkind friends all to avoid making changes.
One easy way to check in about your own anxiety level is to ask yourself; “How many changes have I voluntarily (meaning not foisted upon you by circumstances) gone through in the past year?” If you can’t think of one, or you can only think of one, you may be stuck in this pattern of stuckness.
Fear is supposed to be our pal, along with anger and joy and love and all the rest of the feelings. Fear exists to keep us safe and provide some important inhibition when useful. The problem is that fear (and anger) are both prone to over-growth, particularly when we have childhood trauma to feed them.
If you find yourself stuck in fear or responding to new situations with defensiveness and hostility, it might be time to find a good therapist and do some healing. That’s a change for the better that you get to choose!
- let us Explore Fear and how we influence Fear, Good, bad and ugly if you judge!!!!!!! (ptsdawayout.com)
- Facing Fears (spilledcookies.com)