Physics. Let’s talk Physics.
The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. In essence, energy can be converted from one form into another, but it never disappears.
Energy is important concept in learning about trauma. Physics is at play here. Or at least I think it is.
When you are threatened your body instinctively generates energy (a whole lot of it) to help defend against the perceived threat (ex: fight or flight reflex). This surge of energy explains the superhuman strength people report when in dire situations. Interested in these stories: Go Here, there are CRAZY stories of energy explosions. But when the threat doesn’t have a car or a hole to jump over or any action to resolve, it just sits. And it sits in your nervous system. Your nervous system now has stored explosive energy with nowhere to go. Mine has over a year and a half of trauma energy and there were no cars to lift, no cliffs to jump, no “run for your life” type of movement required. If anything my trauma required “sitting.” Sitting for days and nights in a hospital.
And remember the first law of thermodynamics! Energy cannot be destroyed and there has been no transfer. So there is energy trapped. Inside you/me.
So when trama is labeled as a primary physiological issue (note: not psychological), it makes sense. There is literally an energy in your body that is not naturally there. Trauma living in the body. The energy still coursing through your veins. Of course, it will affect your mind and emotions, but it lives in the body, that is the source. This explains the weight. The weight and the issue with my breathing. My mind is totally here. It’s my body that is elsewhere. Captive to this trapped energy.
And we know that this is real.
Science has loads of examples. We see it in other species. Watch the video below. You will see the impala “play dead,” when caught by a predator, but really this is an “immobility response” to protect it. The impala looks frozen, however, it is anything but frozen. The body is pumping like mad to keep that frozen state. The body is in terror, and therefore, it is creating a firestorm of energy. Now watch the video (its literally 1 min and 52 seconds- you got this time).
Did you see that crazy weird shaking thing the impala does BEFORE it runs off?! You may have been screaming into the computer “run impala run! Stop doing whatever that is and get the hell out of there. Do you have a death wish?! RUN IMPALA RUN” However, this happens every time. That crazy dance is the energy. All the energy being released. All the synapses of fear firing now being released. It isn’t the most graceful thing, but its involuntary. The impala cannot function until all of the energy has been transferred. And then it just leaps away.
I want to leap away.
So that is where I begin. Physics. I have energy to transfer. Now I just need to find it and get rid of it. I’m assuming there is some crazy energy storage going on. It has been a year and a half of living each day wondering if it would be someone I love’s last.
In the wise words of Taylor Swift,
Shake it off
Shake it off