Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?

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Gwyon

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Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« on: October 29, 2017, 05:56:55 PM »
Pete Walker has an article describing a c-ptsd typology around the 4F's: http://pete-walker.com/fourFs_TraumaTypologyComplexPTSD.htm

It us uncanny how well the Freeze/Dissociate Defense describes me. This is associated with the abandonment of early-life neglect. I'd be interested to hear from others for whom the freeze/dissociate type rings true.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 02:49:18 AM by Gwyon »

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Three Roses

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 06:12:14 PM »
I do recognize these reactions in myself. I tend to dissociate a lot.

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Dee

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 09:54:54 PM »

You are not alone!

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DecimalRocket

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 10:20:06 PM »
I tend to isolate myself when stressed. I try to force myself to get help sometimes. But I canít seem to control becoming distant and aloof at times. Each time I go to this forum, I fight a part of myself that wants to be alone.

I spent most of my life in this mode. I spent most of my childhood dealing with depression and anxiety alone. I depended on myself. Iíve gotten basic needs from my parents, but in many ways, I raised myself. I researched depression and anxiety by myself. I learned study skills myself. I learned to solve any problems myself. And so on.

I thought love was irrational. Whenever I talked to someone, I experienced no closeness. Even if they seemed to like me, I assumed everyone just hated me in their head. Many people seemed to talk about the joys of love, friendship and family but I didnít care. When I heard someone is suffering, I experienced no empathy. I was not mean per say but neither was I kind. I was more neutral . . . distant.

When I first talked about my problems ó last year ó I couldnít talk about them except in vague sentences without being intensely embarassed. Without denying some things. Without minimizing, self-hatred or even an anxiety that lasted after for hours straight. I was convinced they would all turn on me.  Memories like this have become another trauma in itself to me and I can flashback into them from time to time.

I talked anonymously online. And almost all told me I was incredibly detached from my emotions. They all seemed irrational to me. I kept wanting to give up, yet there was a part of me that always kept going back. Back then, I didnít know why. But today, I think I was lonely. In many ways I was the extreme version of the trope of the hyperlogical intellectual who gets confused about his and otherís emotions.

When I first felt warmth, I was confused. Scared. It meant I had to pursue building friendships more even if they scare me. It meant being depressed when friendships end or when my family leaves. It meant missing them. It meant worrying about others. I had already had enough time worrying about myself ó what more others as well?

I talked to someone online on who I havenít talked to in several months. She told me something like this. ďHey. . . is it me or youíre kind of . . . warmer? More comfortable with emotions.Ē

ďOh shut up.Ē

I mean, maybe.Ē


 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 10:53:06 PM by DecimalRocket »

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Gwyon

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 12:19:05 AM »
Quote
When I first talked about my problems — last year — I couldn’t talk about them except in vague sentences without being intensely embarassed. Without denying some things. Without minimizing, self-hatred or even an anxiety that lasted after for hours straight. I was convinced they would all turn on me.  Memories like this have become another trauma in itself to me and I can flashback into them from time to time.

I understand this. I had similar experiences when I first started talking about and processing my dysfunctional inner life.

Thanks for sharing your story with me.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 02:49:02 AM by Gwyon »

Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 01:25:00 AM »
I very much relate to the Freeze symptoms.

Quote
I thought love was irrational. Whenever I talked to someone, I experienced no closeness. Even if they seemed to like me, I assumed everyone just hated me in their head. Many people seemed to talk about the joys of love, friendship and family but I didnít care. When I heard someone is suffering, I experienced no empathy. I was not mean per say but neither was I kind. I was more neutral . . . distant.
Feels this way to me too.

I find myself going on auto-pilot quite a bit, daydreaming, dissociating.

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Gwyon

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 02:25:07 AM »
The absence of warmth and empathy you describe is new and foreign to me. And it sounds excedingly challenging.

If anything I tend towards too much feeling, and longing, and dependence on its reciprocation. And my freezing and disociating is an escape from that. At times have wished I could care less.  But I see that is not something to wish for.

I appreciate your openess.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 02:48:50 AM by Gwyon »

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woodsgnome

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 04:33:59 PM »
When I read Walker's book, I knew right away his description of the freeze type was spot-on for me. Including his notion that sometimes freezes fall into a sort of contentment with their characteristics and are therefore among the hardest to treat or change. Oh, for sure.

Living isolated by choice there are days when the inner critic screams that "this is insane, I hate it" and others when I'm fully content, as being isolated also gives me a great feeling of safety and most importantly a sense of peace. Peace is all I've ever truly wanted.

As Walker also points out, the freezes have several good traits (as do each of the 4f's). The positive attributes consist of acute awareness, mindfulness, poised readiness, a sense of presence. and--peace. Peace--what I always wanted! No wonder I have a hard time thinking of my freeze persona as necessarily a bad deal. Still, there are days when I'd like to burst out of my bubble/iceberg and reach out, and there are times when I was able to do so; though I always retreated in the end. 
 
I'm fortunate to have a good therapist to help me work on the low lights of being a freeze. Even that's against the grain, as Walker hints that freezes are prone to bail out of therapy when it gets rough.

 I've come to regard this not as a stereotype poor-me loser situation, but as a part of the trail. I mourn the reasons I went this route, including neglect/abandonment. I've been angry and  spiteful about this, and towards my own history, as if it was my fault. Studying the freeze outcome at least has allowed me to understand a bit better, including those positive aspects.

I like the idea that it's better to understand and work with what and who we already are, no matter how we came to reflect a certain pattern. What else can we do? Finally, the only sure type is that of being human. Not everyone received certain needs, though, and therein lies the problem we're all struggling with.




« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 04:51:23 PM by woodsgnome »

Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 12:41:03 AM »
When I read Walker's book, I knew right away his description of the freeze type was spot-on for me. Including his notion that sometimes freezes fall into a sort of contentment with their characteristics and are therefore among the hardest to treat or change. Oh, for sure.

Living isolated by choice there are days when the inner critic screams that "this is insane, I hate it" and others when I'm fully content, as being isolated also gives me a great feeling of safety and most importantly a sense of peace. Peace is all I've ever truly wanted.
Thanks for sharing this snippet, Woodsgnome. I thought I was a little alone on this one but apparently not! I feel content with some of my Freeze symptoms as well. I enjoy being alone, enjoy the peace. And when I involuntarily dissociate, the bit before is a bit nasty, but during the dissociation - well I'm not there, so I don't feel anything at all and it's nice.  ;D

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DecimalRocket

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 02:17:40 AM »
When I read Walker's book, I knew right away his description of the freeze type was spot-on for me. Including his notion that sometimes freezes fall into a sort of contentment with their characteristics and are therefore among the hardest to treat or change. Oh, for sure.

Living isolated by choice there are days when the inner critic screams that "this is insane, I hate it" and others when I'm fully content, as being isolated also gives me a great feeling of safety and most importantly a sense of peace. Peace is all I've ever truly wanted.
Thanks for sharing this snippet, Woodsgnome. I thought I was a little alone on this one but apparently not! I feel content with some of my Freeze symptoms as well. I enjoy being alone, enjoy the peace. And when I involuntarily dissociate, the bit before is a bit nasty, but during the dissociation - well I'm not there, so I don't feel anything at all and it's nice.  ;D

Hmmm. . . Many times Iíve hated being alone. But I found peace in it too.

Being alone is a bad idea sometimes when I require help, but being alone is also rewarding sometimes. Some things that help me the most arenít kindness or advice from outside sources but ideas from my own reflection and solitary research. Sometimes there are only things I can realize from myself.

Somehow, I think my habit for solitude has been both the most supporting and damaging towards my recovery. Damaging because it often leaves me to suffer misunderstandings and pain alone. And supporting because my solitude gives me a sense of peace when compared to the confusing world of people. The world is often fast paced, unpredictable and disorganized ó and my thoughts are more slow, more depth than breath and organized to make sense.

Detaching from my emotions can leave me unaware of my problems. . . but escaping into my analysis and logical inquiry is needed sometimes to calm down . . . Itís easier to understand logic to me after all . . . than my emotions and others.

The hyperlogical intellectual, huh? Iím not as extreme in this trope as before, but in some ways, I still hold some similarities to this concept.

And itís not that bad sometimes. Not that bad after all.






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Gwyon

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 02:42:54 AM »
I appreciate all the discussion here.... thank you. I thought it might be useful to "compare notes" with others with similar patterns. It is what it is, as you say WG .... simply what we must find a way to work with. And understanding it provides tools for that.

There was a point at which I realized I could choose NOT to engage socially (not sure why that was a revolutionary  concept) and it was a blessed relief to NOT always force myself to be social and pretend to be ok.  And my sweetest days are when I am (a) alone, and (b) not in the midst of an EF or otherwise dysphoric.

And I also appreciate  the positive traits you note, WG.  But I find the dissociation and social paralysis to often be.... inconvenient. 

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Gwyon

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 02:47:38 AM »
FYI, I changed my forum name to provide a bit more privacy.

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Quiet

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Re: Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 09:21:11 PM »
I definitely freeze.  I'm very uncomfortable having emotions, with the exception of happiness, which inconveniences no-one.  Just about anything else, and I'm a mess.