Posts Tagged ‘survival mode’

A blanket of Darkness

PTSD feels like a heavy weight, a dark blanket of sadness.

A force applying pressure downward numbing my being.

When my symptoms momentarily subside, I feel lightness return.

I notice the difference, the feeling, the emotional freedom.

I have worked hard to heal, and to be aware of my symptoms traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

When PTSD and depression are active, my waking hours are filled with turmoil, anxiety, and danger.

Desire and opportunity disappear from consciousness, we return to some form of survivor mode.

Survivor mode shuts down parts of the brain, some executive functions while activating our defense mechanism.

Survival replaces desire. Or maybe our greatest desire is to survive above all other desires.

Desire needs a safe place to exist.

PTSD never feels safe to us.

After childhood, we do not trust the world, we fear what may happen to us next.

Maybe this is why we lack direction, confidence, and self-worth.

Survival mode has no direction, it is best used sparingly for a crisis.

Daily use is terrible for our health and emotional sanity.

Understanding survivor mode


Survivor mode means all resources are diverted to defend the organism.

Deep in our cellular structure or the right amygdala, we have spotted a perceived danger.

Some of the prefrontal cortex is offline, where consciousness lives, process and reasoning occur, and understanding of language and words happens.

No wonder we are confused and frightened.

All this is stored in the right amygdala, the side of the brain not accessible consciously.

If the origin of abuse happens in childhood, before the brain has time to mature, the healing process is more complex and daunting.

Example: I am with a friend at an event, on the way back to the car we get mugged and robbed.

He grew up in a supportive atmosphere, making this his first traumatic experience.

He would be diagnosed with PTSD, or simple PTSD, a one-time traumatic event.

His chances of healing are 100% better than my Complex PTSD.

Childhood trauma happens over decades, many, many, many abusive crimes are committed.

Our brains wire differently because of survival mode.

We are superstars at spotting danger, even where no danger exists.

How much can we rewire our brains?

My hybrid survival mode existence



Hiding deep under all conscious thought or memory, I have discovered hard wired core beliefs.

In childhood, functioning in survivor mode, fear of loss and failure was a constant threat from my father.

Now, I find my nervous system occupied with perceived threats, every situation seems to contain a chance of failure. This feeling of danger has stealthily impacted my nervous system and existence.

My fight or flight mechanism does not fire full throttle but the worry of impending failure lives on.

My nervous system never relaxes in a crowd, never feels safe and secure, always wants to escape perceived danger.

All of these worries happen quickly without thought. It precedes thought, I have discovered.

Danielle Young, LPC, NCC writes:

“The thinking brain begins to dim, similar to that of a light switch, and instead our trauma brain or survival brain, begins to brighten. When that light dims, we loose the ability to use these skills effectively. Our survival brain reacts impulsivity in order to maintain self-preservation; it’s tells us that using the executive functioning skills will take too much time to process the information and that safety cannot be guaranteed. The survival brain is trying to keep us alive, but it can make everything feel much more difficult.”

A hybrid survival mode brain has thrived under my normal functioning thinking brain.

All the chances of wellbeing are lost in survival mode.

It has taken years of inner exploration, meditating, to uncover this dysfunctional mode of living.

I think this is the final peeling of the onion, my PTSD core strength is hidden in survival mode.



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