Fight or flight Cycle

This is me at 3 with my Grandma (my dad’s mom) – this grandma and my other one (my mom’s mom) were an important figure in my childhood because when my parents fought my dad would send me to my grandparents for help and I would stay with Grandma and Grandpa would help my dad get my mom out of her episodes. My mom had clinical depression and would have these outbursts of rage.  This had such a profound effect on me and I ended up repeating this pattern for many years until I finally got the professional therapist I needed to help me on my pathway to recovery.  

These trips to my grandparents’ house started when I was in early elementary school and lasted for many years until at least middle school.  Looking back, I can see how this caused a flight response in me which creeped into my life in many ways. One way was not being able to settle into a living space, in my adult life I moved almost every year, the longest time we would stay anywhere was maybe 2-3 years.  Until the last move when I separated and divorced my second husband and started my mental health recovery process, that house has provided a stable home for my family for the last 9 years.

The other area of flight response has been multiple jobs over the years, multiple relationships, and just having this feeling of wanting to leave instead of fixing myself and facing my issues caused by my mental illness.

There have been other habits and hang ups I developed that I will discuss in other posts. The recovery process didn’t happen over night either. It took small habits of change to break out of these cycles and a lot of self-reflection and being honest with myself.  With the help of counselors, peer support and education, I am on the road to recovery, knowing when to ask for help and feel more like I know who I am and how to lead a healthy mental health life.

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