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Ever gone into a trance after a trauma?

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Ever gone into a trance after a trauma?

Postby ppp123 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:28 pm

Hi there,

I was just wondering whether anyone else has any experience of going into a trance after a trauma.

There were times when I was younger where I would have 'absences' where I would trance out with my eyes open. People would not be able to get me to come to either by talking to me, making noises or waving their hands in front of my face.

I've been riding out 'reclaiming' memories of events that other people have tried talking to me about but I haven't remembered at all. Sometimes I have a memory of the thing that they are describing, but I've told them quite aggressively that they are being crazy and they are just tricking me somehow.

One of the features I have noticed where I have 'reclaimed' a memory of an incident, is that after dealing with whatever the incident is that has gone on, I have just stood there or sat there in a trance and I can actually now remember being static and hearing the other person trying to talk to me and me not responding in any way. When I have come to, I don't understand what has happened or what is going on. It makes me feel bad, because I realise that it's damaged some relationships with other people and I have been of no support to other people who will have had a distressing experience too. I've just stared into space for a while and then been puzzled as to where I am and what has gone on. I know on one occasion two friends carried me away and they were talking about my lips turning blue.

Does anyone else know anything about this sort of trancing out process?

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Re: Ever gone into a trance after a trauma?

Postby Johnny-Jack » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:33 pm

I had incidents similar to what you describe though not quite so extreme. I've called this my freeze response, which has been added by some to the fight-or-flight paradigm of response to threat or extreme stress. So fight, flight, freeze. Freezing (or remaining in place) is natural response to some extent, for example, it's the safest behavior in the presence of some wild animals.

When I go into freeze mode, I'm not entirely unreachable as you describe. I can respond but my affect is missing and I'm barely there, at least on the surface. It seems a reasonable learned behavior for certain types of abusive trauma in childhood and I know it arose in my childhood. For children who can't escape, freezing may be the safest way to react, the behavior least likely to trigger an abuser. I'm sure you can imagine circumstances where freezing would be a rational response to irrational behavior from another person.

You may not know of or understand how your "freeze" began, but I'd suggest you cut yourself some slack and consider that it may have had a very reasonable if unfortunate origin. This behavior has extended out into my life in the form of my proactive behaviors and thoughts, taking care only of absolute necessities, like food or going to work. I've been going through this kind of period recently. For me, going into a trance is protective, at least in origin.
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