I have been blessed (or cursed) with a stress induced fight response. When I surpass my stress
threshold I don’t get depressed, or scared, or frozen with indecision I get vicious. If I could I would literally spit nails. Before I went to therapy and got my head straightened out this fight response was projected outward at anyone who crossed my path. Mostly those closest to me.
Obviously that behavior was toxic and inappropriate. With time and effort I’ve learned to control it, or rather the outward expression of it. What I have yet to master is the physical manifestation of my “fight” reflex. In the PTSD mental health world this phenomenon is referred to as armoring. Your body will involuntarily tense up especially in your back and chest to protect your vital organs. After a while, it becomes painful. As if you have been tightly holding your breath.
I armor a lot especially if I have to repress
any type of emotional overload. It’s at its worst when my fight response has also been triggered. Right now, in the midst of the crisis with my niece, I feel wound tighter than a Swiss watch. It goes deeper than the surface concern about my niece’s care and well being. This level of armoring can only be caused by a primal, visceral connection with deeply rooted trauma.
I’m not quite sure what exactly that trauma is yet. I have a few ideas to discuss with my therapist all stemming from very early childhood. This event may be triggering my core trauma, the root of my PTSD itself, which is something I haven’t yet been able to address. Nothing has brought it to the surface quite like this experience.