Freeze, fight, flight, fawn…or fun.

It used to be just “fight or flight” as a response to a threat…then “freeze” got added and later down the line “Fawn”; where whoever perceives the threat tries to “charm/fawn” their way out of it. I relate to that response most because I lean on being sweet, pleasing or bubbly & bright when I think someone is going to hurt me.

My own addition is “fun” because that’s my response right now to depression and anxiety – to brush it under the carpet and go away with Alun for a week on holiday.

It’s hard to be here in this absolutely gorgeous cottage and grounds filled with every type of rose you can imagine because inside, I’m empty.

But here are pictures of where we’re staying anyway.

Inside, I AM thankful…it’s just hard to keep smiling and pretending I’m having fun when really I’m screaming into the void.

Sigh.

8 responses to “Freeze, fight, flight, fawn…or fun.”

    1. We tried it this evening. So warm!

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  1. Dear Janet, I know exactly where you’re coming from about screaming into the void. I’m so sorry you feel this way, too. It’s so hard to put on a happy front all the time when we’re not feeling that way inside us. It’s like wearing that ‘I’m fine’ mask to show the world we are just that when inside, we are feeling just the opposite. I’m glad you did get something out of your time away with Alun – the photos are fabulous – what a lovely place to be for a week.

    With the Fight or Flight expression, I, too, include Freeze, which is what I did to cope with my abuse. I’ve also heard and read that another description of a reaction to a threat is (be)Friend, which is much the same as Fawn. There is also a fifth one called Flop. This is when your body reacts to the threat physically, like collapsing or fainting. I haven’t experienced the Flop response, although, in my case, when talking about traumatic events, I sometimes dissociate (my mind cuts out, and I go ‘somewhere else’, which is not present in the room). I feel for you so much – we have much in common, don’t we? I send you love and comforting hugs … Ellie Xx 💜💞

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    1. It is bitter-sweet that you understand mental Illness because it takes someone who has experienced it to fully understand it. I feel so blessed being able to talk to you because you understand but it makes me sad in many ways because you’ve been in those dark depths, too. It can be so isolating. We wear our “happy” masks so those we love won’t worry but the cost is so high.

      I’m so saddened to know you suffered so badly and that you’ve had to freeze or disassociate to try to cope, that’s heartbreaking 💔 I’m so very sorry. I can’t imagine how painful and lonely you must have felt, Ellie. I’m sending you big hugs 🫂 thank you so much for reaching out even though you’re suffering xx

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      1. Thank you for such a kind reply to me, Janet. I feel the same about you. It’s so hard to explain to someone who has never had mental health issues exactly how we feel. It helps to know you understand, although, of course, I wish you weren’t experiencing this pain yourself. I don’t tell my two children how I’m feeling and wear my ‘I’m fine’ mask when I’m with them because I feel very protective towards them even though they’re grown with their own children. I had mental health issues when they were younger, too, and I feel now that I need to be strong for them. Both of them are going through a difficult time as it is without me adding to it. I hope your day has been okay. I’m just about to go over to read your other post from earlier. Sending comforting hugs your way, too Xx 🤗💜💕

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  2. Oh wow I sure can relate to your response to extreme stress. Do that a lot. To cope.

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    1. It’s strange the way we try to cope with Trauma. We do our best and even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, it helps us to survive 💗 sending you sooo much love from Australia xx

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      1. ❤️🌹

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