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Hi! I'm Cami

Visceral/Trauma response in your body

published4 months ago
2 min read

I was in my home simply doing the dishes when it hit.

"It" means a visceral body response due to trauma.

My heart started pumping. I wanted to run and hide.

I felt very afraid.

My nervous system had kicked in and here I was standing at my kitchen sink, frozen with fear, with my eyes darting all around, my head turning ever so slightly as I tried to look for and think of a place to hide.

Logically, I was safe.

I was at home with my husband and kids. Nothing to fear, right?

Wrong, in this moment, my past was living in my present in the form of a visceral response - visceral literally means a body response from a deep inward feeling rather than intellect.

At that moment, I was 100% afraid and on high alert and no amount of logic could stop my pounding heart.

I didn't have access to a new thought to direct my brain to so I wouldn't be so afraid.

Which makes sense. My nervous system was online and functioning, not my thinking brain. Top Down work is not available in this space.

This is trauma so Bottom up work is needed here.

Breath. Ground. Keep Breathing.

What 3 things can I see, touch or hear?

Can I feel my feet on the floor? Inside my shoes, on the floor?

Can I feel my hands? Actually touching one hand with the other hand.

Am I breathing or holding my breath?

Am I breathing really fast? Am I breathing really slow?

Does my breath change as I notice it?

Can I notice some of these things? All of them?

Notice all the choices I still have in this moment, even when my body seems to have a mind of it's own...I still have choices....

I can process fear. I can process the need to run and hide. Both of these slow down my heart beat.

If processing feels too scary, I still have choices.

I can look around at my outer world and orient myself.

I can go inside my body and pay attention internally. (There are resources there to help me for more grounding.)

I can go to external resources of family and friends and ask for support or a listening ear.

And there is always the option to be kind to myself, I am going through some trauma.

Do visceral responses ever happen to you?

Visceral responses can be scary and feel out of control.

Visceral responses can also give us awareness because there is a reason your body is responding this way, trust it.

So, when I believe the story that - this is scary and I'm crazy and something must be wrong here....(aka, something wrong with me, something wrong with my body), because logically nothing is wrong....

I'm not being very kind to myself......and that story is not even true.

There was something wrong at some point in my past, and my body has a reason for responding this way.

And my body is giving me this response, now, in my present, so I can let go of it and heal. So let's do that.

Ground. Process. Be kind. Let it Go. Heal.

FYI - The answers and reasons why will sometimes come and sometimes they won't because we don't always need to know the reason in order to heal. Our body just needed to have us pay attention to it long enough to feel it, process it and let it go.