i look at my primary response to acute trauma...

the "Inside PTSD" collection:

  1. inside ptsd
  2. inside ptsd, the mad list
  3. inside ptsd, backstory
  4. inside ptsd, fleeing
  5. inside ptsd, two
  6. inside ptsd, remediation
  7. inside ptsd, three, rage
  8. inside ptsd, transaction costs
  9. time shift, inside the ptsd
  10. time shift three
  11. time shift two, still inside the ptsd
  12. inside ptsd, the addiction episode
  13. survive vs heal
  14. inside ptsd, body knows
  15. inside ptsd, body knows, part one
  16. one hour
  17. that same afternoon
  18. inside ptsd, more than a recollection
  19. inside ptsd, body knows 2
  20. acceptance.
  21. inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 2
  22. inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 3
  23. inside ptsd, a student of trauma
  24. inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4a
  25. inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4b
  26. inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 5
  27. inside ptsd, more than a recollection, part 2
  28. acute
  29. inside my midlife ptsd
  30. one day—the daylight part—inside ptsd
  31. inside ptsd, mere survival
  32. inside ptsd, economics
  33. one day, at night, inside ptsd
  34. on the outside, looking in
  35. inside ptsd, in the wind
  36. inside ptsd, in the wind, two
  37. a is for anxiety
  38. inside ptsd, the last match
  39. inside ptsd, addicted to addiction
  40. inside ptsd, outside looking in
  41. Day Three, Haunted
  42. inside ptsd, what it is
  43. inside ptsd, it takes time
  44. inside ptsd, the plea for understanding
  45. before the aftermath

possibly related

What is staggering, is how true the details are, ptsd that is... triggered state.

The basic pattern for the body's response to trauma, at least in part—at least how i know it—is this:

  1. try to get away, duck, flee!!
  2. freeze/fight back, fight back or freeze.

That's about it.

You either succeed and survive, or you die.


Me driving around Portland or the East Bay, or driving from Berkeley to New Hampshire and back and forth was surviving. One survives, and if lucky, gets time to heal.

Surviving is huge. If you haven't tried non-survival, yours or someone close, don't. Be glad. Surviving is in the bloodstream, embedded deep in our mid-brains surrounded by expendable tissue, functioning quickly discarded, acceptable loss as long as survival comes true.

The binary insanity of surviving is that the only proof you are succeeding is if you are still alive.

Rinse repeat.

Locked in

Part of our brains lock in to a developmental stage, that stage you were at when the trauma hit. For those who were attacked in one way or another while young, you have all my Love. To have part of your soul and brain frozen at a terrified age three is madness, literally.

On hard days, surviving becomes the answer to the simple question: 'what do you do?'

Well, i used to sell dreams, and ducting, but now i try to survive the next five minutes. You?


I'm part welded to being 18, and equally welded to throwing off the constraints of everything. When i was eighteen, i had energy to burn, literally more precious qi each day than would fit in my body-mind, and it had to be flared off like oilfield towers or it would incinerate me. Hence i drove, tens of thousands of miles, borrowed cars or hired, coast to coast, coast to coast, faster than bullets, alone.

Fighting back

I couldn't fight back; i was out-gunned. They had half a dozen loaded, oiled pistols and i had only my wits. I ducked, and they kept firing.

I have strong compassion for those who can't fight back, who were too young or unarmed when the mayhem struck.


  • Addiction is fleeing, diving over the stone wall away from reality with its reminders and demands
  • The brain checking itself out is fleeing, freezing when legs are not strong and fists are too small
  • Never stopping is fleeing, never slowing down enough to sleep well or wake refreshed
  • Righteousness is fleeing.

Breathe in. Feel you. Breathe out.

Be well I'm (still) here, Love, m


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