"In adult children PTSD tends to manifest itself in hypervigilance, compulsive behavior, and hard-to-detect body sensations. It is as if our bodies have ‘rewired' themselves to protect us from severe harm or severe harm that almost occurred." BRB p. 178
Soldiers learn immediately what hypervigilance means: Watch out! The enemy is close!
In our family of origin, we experienced hypervigilance on a regular basis. If we didn't watch out, we or someone close might get hurt. In the middle of these experiences, we vowed we'd never do that to our own families.
But alas! The lessons were too well taught. Something seems to snap, and it's as if we go into a trance, screaming, belittling, or calling our loved ones names. We scold, threaten, slam doors, and drive away in a cloud of dust. We push away those we love most. We've become the multigenerational living triggers that cause hypervigilance in our loved ones.
When we realize we've become the perpetrators, we look for help in the rooms of ACA. It's in the Steps that we identify the root of our hypervigilance. We look at our triggers to try to determine how and where they originated. Triggers derived from our hypervigilance are what make us inexplicably react, freeze, hold our breath, or shake in our shoes. As we learn more, we usually find fear and guilt at our core, and those feelings are often frozen. We bring them to life so we can heal.
On this day I will slow down and breathe deeply if I find myself feeling triggered by my hypervigilant reactions. I can nurture myself through this.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
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