I can use me as a specific example for this. In my family I WAS known as the holiday wrecker. For my entire adult life (apart from the last 5 years) every time I went on a holiday with my husband and 3 sons who are nearly all adults I would suffer with major anxiety.
For so many years I just didn’t get what was going on with me. A few days out from leaving to go on holiday I would become nervous, worried, stress, hyper, loud and forgetful. We would leave and get to our destination and my anxiety would increase 100%. Such a feeling of unease and apprehension all surrounded by fear. Can you imagine what camping was like and my poor husband, nothing he did was right. The tent is in the wrong position, it’s too windy, the kitchen area isn’t big enough, and blah blah blah. I was in a living hell and was so hyper vigilant listening, reacting and hearing it all. Generally it would take 3 takes for these symptoms too subside and often by then it was time to leave just as I was coming good and actually enjoying myself.
So what was going on for me? I was feeling unsafe, my world where I felt I belonged had moved, was unstable ie the house, I had been triggered.
The roots of this go right back to the beginning of my life and to recover from this you have to heal the traumatic event or put simpler the baggage from your past.
I was given up for adoption at birth so can you imagine for a moment what that was like for a tiny new born baby being removed from her mother and being placed with another mummy, ultimately a stranger. Yes it’s all preverbal however the emotions of fear and feeling unsafe lock into the baby (those affected by adoption a book Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, a must read) and stay there. So what happens every time this baby feels unsafe, they get triggered into freeze, flight or fight. So coming back to me every time we shifted house which was numerous as I came from a large family I would be triggered and the trauma response would start up, and for me it was the flight. The anxiety was horrific and of course not understanding the roots of it I suffered in silence.
Long-term I would not embrace change as I would feel unsafe and I was unwilling to put myself there. What needed to happen was for my body to know that the stressful event was over that it was safe that it could be put away as a memory and how do you do that?. The most effective, safe, way is with hypnotherapy.
I didn’t have hypnotherapy, I did the slower more painstaking way over many years. Numerous workshops, coaching counselling to combat this holiday wrecker title. And yes I’m totally fine now as I have healed my past and am no longer triggered.
If you are triggered (by real and imaginary threats) and the fight, flight or freeze plays out you may not have any understanding of its roots and where it comes from, perfectly normal. It’s an acute stress response and when its affecting the quality of your life you have to begin to ask yourself some questions like “Why continue to struggle with this” there is help and support out there.
The Richards Trauma Process (www.judithrichards.com.au) that I’ve trained in uses Hypnotherapy to tell the body that the traumatic event is over and that you are safe. What I love about this process is that in 3 sessions it moves what I did trying to move in 5 years of counselling, workshops, reading etc for myself. I’ve identified working as a counsellor that people are time poor and do not have the time and money to spend years in therapy trying to resolve the past. This process is so exciting and so results driven as you get really clear on what you want and where you’re going.
Ask yourself the question what would it be like if I was no longer anxious, stressed, depressed, feeling abandoned, addicted to alcohol, sex or drugs to name a few. Think of your symptom of what is not working in your life and imagine what it would be like if you no longer had it? If you can imagine for a moment then perhaps it’s possible to change. “The Power of Change is within you”