BLACK CROSS NOTES FROM THE RECOVERY ROOM OF

Stress is said to have the ability to kill. This slogan began its rounds on the office circuit at a minimum 30 years ago. Simply defined, “stress” represents a force[s] from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. This “affect” is presented as “thought”, “feeling” or “behavior” influenced by said “force”. “Force”, then, can be acknowledged as any event triggering activation of any one of the senses. “Sense” is the blanket term for “feeling” and signals recognition of another life form in our presence. Five “senses” have been generally accepted as common and obvious knowledge held by all of the world’s peoples. “Sight”, “Sound”, “Touch”, “Taste” and “Smell” provides the brain with information about the internal or external environment. Traumatic stress occurs when the self experiences or interacts with external events and those or that event overwhelms the senses and the person is unable to protect the self from the experience. Or halt the events triggering the things felt, heard, smelled, viewed or tasting. Consider a car accident or rape. When in a significant car accident the person hears screeching sounds, feels physical pain, may taste blood or bile in mouth, sees bodies or nothing at all for a flash during impact or they see the impact about to happen and are helpless to stop or prevent it. They are unable to protect their body or mind, helpless and hopeless as the accident takes place. In the case of rape, the person’s body is violated as they feel the others body forced upon the self, hears the sounds being made, and smells the scent of the person and environment. Again, the key to traumatic stress is being in a position whereby the self is unable to protect the self from a stressor. The degree of assault or onslaught of senses triggered speaks to the relative level or degree of harm experienced.

This process of Traumatization or onslaught of stimulation to the senses can occur with use of words. An example of this would be in the case of verbal abuse. To have the words; “You’re a stupid bitch” for example triggers hearing messages about the self that reduces appreciation of the self, sees contorted facial expressions and which signal threat of harm as person appears enraged. Most people know that when someone is in a state of rage, the danger of physical engagement is highly possible and possibly probable depending on past experience with said individual. To simplify, the outcome, of what was said or done in the interaction or contact with another energy be it human, animal and/or plant life, harm can come to the self as a result. Depending on the relative level of harm done, an event that elicits one or more of those “negative feeling” states (anger, sadness, fear) coupled with the inability of the self ability to protect itself from being harmed, will determine the degree of Traumatization (impact/ shock to the self) occurs. Because the harm happened in the interaction, healing occurs in the relating or relationship. Relationships are formed via communication or intent to stimulate one’s senses and initiate interaction. Communication is most often verbal, yet non-verbal cues are reliably responded to appearing to be instinctually situated within the physiological self i.e. physical body.

TBC….

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