We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

In this episode of We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez, Kris discusses the trauma responses and explains why we have them. Fight, flight, freeze, fawn.


Kris Godinez  00:02

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Kris Godinez  00:27

Okay, wow so a few things I want to cover. Before we dive into the topic of trauma response. Today is Mother’s Day. So, for those of us who, you know, lost their mom, my mom died four years ago, four years ago? Good lord five years ago Wow. Yes, five years ago Jesus please. Or for people who had a mother that was narcissistic or abusive or whatever, this is a tough day. So, I just want to remind you guys take really good care of yourself, drink a lot of water, be gentle with you, feel the feels, journal it out. And really just take care of yourself today is a tough day and Father’s Day is going to be the same thing if you had a father that was abusive or if your dad has passed Father’s Day is going to be the same thing so really take good care of yourself since this is Mother’s Day so lots of water, journal, feel the feels, don’t make yourself wrong for feeling just feel, just feel it and write it out. So there that!  Also books that I highly recommend Shahida Arabie The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to Dealing with Toxic People, amazing I recommend it to all my clients and of course, Susanna Quintana, who’s awesome sauce I love this woman! So Susanna Quintana at Suzannaquintana.com.  You’re Still That Girl. You can get the book there she’s awesome she’s just a wonderful person and I cannot wait to start talking to her about possibly doing some sort of seminars and stuff once we are able to gather again which will be lovely because I miss everybody! So one thing I was talking to her about I was like I mean seeing people hugging people I miss you know socializing so yeah there that is.

Kris Godinez  02:39

Splitting if you’re going through divorce and this is by Randy, Randy Krieger and Bill Eddie says a great book if you’re going through divorce with one of these people this is always good to know and of course not last but not least my two books You Can Lead a Horse to Water But, You Can’t Make ‘em Chacha and What’s Wrong with Your Dad available on Amazon Kindle and audible and I do the reading of them so there that is! Okay, so let’s dive into trauma response. So, CPTSD Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so the C stands for complex. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder meaning it happened over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Right? You get out of it and now you’ve got all of these PTSD symptoms that are going on, so what are some trauma responses that we may not think about that are really trauma responses? So, fight flight freeze or fawn seriously panic attacks those are all trauma responses you know you panic over the strangest things, things that you wouldn’t normally think of causing panic. With somebody who’s been through Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will affect them, it will be a trigger. So, fight flight freeze or fawn. So, fight obviously you want to fight back against whatever is going on. Flight run the heck away. Freeze like freeze like a great example is if somebody who reminds you of your abuser comes to you right if your fight is your normal go to which is that’s mine You know then you would be like Oh hell no, you know and you’d be like game on right? So that’s a trauma response you know, it’s like not not on this planet not under my watch. You know, that kind of thing. The next one flight Okay, so somebody who is reminding you of your abuser comes up so you they start their stuff, and you’re like, wow, peace out, I’m gone. You know, like you literally are like, running out of the room and panicking at the same time, you know, and then freeze, they’re coming at you, they’re yelling at you and you just, you can’t, you just can’t You can’t even you know, like seriously like freezing is like, you just seriously you freeze and your brain just freezes and it is so frustrating to watch and it’s so frustrating to have happened to you because it’s like, you know, you’re watching somebody that you’re just like Don’t put up with that and that person is just going at them and they’re just like frozen right? So that’s the freeze response that is a trauma response so when somebody reminds you of the abuser and you freeze that’s a trauma response because those are really hard to overcome so for me if I can’t fight, I will flee that’s you know flip I can’t win this I’m going to get the hell out you know, to stay safe and with freezing it’s the same thing if I can just freeze maybe they’ll go away I don’t do that but I’ve seen other people do it. So that is a trauma response the fight flight freeze or fawn so you’re suddenly getting into it with this person who reminds you of your abuser and you’re sitting there it’s like it’s almost like this duality of why am I doing this but you’re doing it you know is the same thing with freeze Why am I doing this? But you’re doing it you know, same thing with fight. Same thing with flee. It’s like why am I running away? Well, because I’m trying to stay safe. So those are all trauma responses and they will come up in the weirdest ways. So

Kris Godinez  06:01

for example, one thing I cannot stand is  places that are too crowded and this was even before the pandemic I just don’t like you know people running into me and bumping into me and things like that because it just sets me on edge. So, john and I one Christmas we’re at a mall and this is when we lived in LA and I literally started having a meltdown. I was like get the bleep, bleep, bleep out of here right the Bleep now you know because I was just about ready to start screaming I was like get me out because it was fight flight freeze or fawn so it was you know, obviously I couldn’t fight everybody was there shopping you know freezing not a good idea you’d get run into fleeing that was a great option you know, so and where that comes from? I’m not sure but you know, because it’s not like I had a lot of people around me abusing me unless you think about elementary school maybe but you know, I mean it’s so it was like Okay, I gotta get out you know, and I couldn’t even identify why it’s just I didn’t like all of the people crowding in around me and hitting me and bumping me and you know, being rude and you know, all that stuff. So, so yeah, so it’s unconscious. You’re not even aware of it until it happens and then once we were out of the mall, I was sitting there literally yoga breathing going, Okay, hold the breath. Everything’s fine. Breathe out through the nose. Okay, you know, cuz I’m like trying to calm myself down and John’s like, are you okay? And I’m like, really? Not? Really not. So that’s a trauma response. That’s a trauma response. So yeah, so fight flight, freeze or fawn. Those are trauma responses. So, emotions, emotions can be a trauma response. So, anxiety, obviously we’ve been abused so we have a great deal of anxiety and especially when someone reminds us of the abuser and that anxiety is what then creates the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response. So, anxiety, anger, anger, so anger is also a trauma response, irritability, that is one of the classic signs of PTSD. So, you’re irritable, you’re like on edge you’re angry when you can’t fight, flight, freeze, or fawn you know, it’s like, like, for me, it’s like, if I can’t fight and I can’t flee, I then get pissed and I jump back into fight. So, because it’s like, I’m gonna stay safe. Mother clucker that’s all there is to it. I am going to stay safe. So yeah, anger is part of the trauma response, sadness, tears, that kind of thing easily. Highly. What’s the word I’m looking for? We’re we’re very easy to emotions, we’re very easy to emotion. So, you know, we suddenly find ourselves in tears over something that reminds us of our childhood or reminds us of the abuse or reminds us you know, of something that was traumatic. So, you know, for me, I have a really hard time watching a lot of different movies because I can’t stand anything that’s too violent, although I do like the MCU. But it’s a comic book so I can kind of kind of get through that. But um, I don’t like really violent movies. I don’t like horror movies. I don’t like you know, things like that. But if there’s some storyline, I will find myself in tears and poor John is like, are you okay? I’m like, give me a minute. And then I’ll just kind of work through it. So yes, emotions, emotions are right there. And that comes with being a healthy normal person. But it also gets exacerbated by the trauma. So, you know, especially if we’ve worked through all the fear of having emotions, like for me, you know, for the first Jeez Louise, 20 plus years of my life, I did not allow myself to cry because it wasn’t safe. Because the second I started crying, my dad would give me a reason to cry. In other words, he hit me, you know, and so it wasn’t safe to cry and I had to work through my therapist and work with my therapist in Oregon, on allowing myself to cry because it’s normal to cry. And now of course, it’s like I cry at the drop of a frickin hat. But, and that’s good. I would rather do that than sit there and

Kris Godinez  10:02

be emotionally constipated, I think is the best way to put it. So um, so yeah, tears, suicidal thoughts, suicidal gestures, those are trauma responses, because nobody teaches us how to deal with the cray cray that we are living with as little kids. So, when I was a kid, to be perfectly honest, I think I’ve talked about this and I know I talked about it in my book, What’s Wrong with Your Dad, I was suicidal as a teenager, I was, because I couldn’t see a way out because my dad was so crazy. And my mom was enabling him. And it was frightening. And I couldn’t deal with his crazy because he was abusing us on every level you could possibly think of, you know? Mentally, physically, emotionally, sexually, the whole thing, religiously. Thanks, Dad. So, you know, I mean, it was awful. And the only way I could think of was suicide, and I seriously entertain the idea. And then, thank God, I didn’t do it, you know, and my sister kind of helped me, my oldest sister helped me and got me into therapy, and you know, got me out of there. So, yeah, suicidal thoughts, suicidal gestures, absolutely. Inappropriate laughter. Inappropriate laughter I’ve been accused of that several times. So sometimes when I get nervous, I’ll laugh, you know, laughing at a funeral, that kind of thing, but also, when confronted with an abuser, sometimes I will just start laughing at them. dangerous to do, I wouldn’t recommend it. Sometimes it works. But it’s a nervous, it’s a nervous thing. You know, it’s like, Oh, hell, no, I’m not gonna take this one seriously, you know, that kind of thing. So, you know, laughter that’s really not appropriate. Not necessarily inappropriate, but it’s not necessarily maybe the best option. So, people nervous laugh, they nervous laugh all the time, because it’s a scary, heavy topic, you know? And that happens in therapy all the time. You know, people start dealing with these really scary, heavy topics, and they’ll start laughing or something, and I’ll have to be like, Okay, do you want to be laughing? Or is that really something else that’s coming out? Should we be talking about maybe other emotions, you know, that kind of thing? So yeah, those are all trauma responses. deep fear, deep fear of trust, so we don’t trust it’s so funny. John mentioned to me the other day, he’s like, you’re really not very trusting, are you? So, we had a yard sale. And then we put a bunch of stuff up on the Facebook marketplace. And we were selling stuff. And so, I literally was acting as the muscle. Like I walked out there with my pepper spray, and I was ready to go to town if somebody tried to, like, steal something, or you know, whatever. And John’s just like, you realize it’s unlikely somebody’s going to do that. I’m like, Yeah, but

Kris Godinez  12:42

so yeah, I have a deep distrust and it’s because of my dad. And it’s because of my mom, because I learned very quickly that you cannot trust people who are telling you to trust them. So, you know, I do have a very, you know, I still do that, to this day, I don’t trust easily I’m kind of like from the show me state, you know, it’s like, show me prove it, prove it , prove it? Prove to me that you are trustworthy, that kind of thing. So yeah, um, terminal aloneness. So, this is something I don’t think we’ve really talked about. But every single survivor of abuse, especially abuse from childhood, feels separate from the rest of society. It’s like, it’s like there’s this glass wall in between us and other people, us and other kids or us and people who have not gone through abuse. So, it’s like this feeling of separateness. Like we’re somehow outsiders. That’s the best way I can put it. Every single survivor of abuse expresses this concept this feeling of terminal aloneness like I don’t think these people get what I went through I don’t think these people understand where I’m coming from you know, and that’s especially true on a day like today, Mother’s Day, when we go no contact with toxic family members moms and dads, we go no contact with them and then we have some jackwagon who doesn’t understand abuse start you know, making us wrong for going no contact that’s a real that’s a real insult and it’s also a real feeling of you don’t get it you truly do not get this you know, so the sense of aloneness or this sense of separateness and that is something we have to work on. You know and that’s part of the reason why I love doing these videos is because it lets everyone know you are not alone. There are literally probably millions of us out there that have survived abuse and have all gone through the exact same thing and that there are other people on the face this planet who get it. So, you know honest to God share these videos with as many people as you can because that sense of aloneness, we need to get rid of but that is a trauma response. It is. Flashbacks visual, somatic and emotional. So visual flashbacks happen when we get caught up in a thought a memory a thing that happened in the past and it is happening before our eyes It’s like the lights are on the engine is running and we are watching it play like a movie okay

Kris Godinez  15:18

the visual one the somatic one is when we feel it in our bodies so that’s a that’s a physical thing so for me you know my dad was very abusive and I would always get stomach aches I would always get sick to my stomach so you know throwing up is my least favorite thing ever on the face of the planet. So when there is something that is triggering me really badly I will have that physical kind of response wanting to throw up you know, throw up the nastiness throw up the abuse throw up that you know, get rid of it, get it out. So yeah, somatic and then emotional flashbacks. So emotional flashbacks, like I was talking about the volatility of the emotions, not emotional dysregulation, but the volatility of the emotions. It’s like, we start remembering something that happened and the next thing you know, you’re tearful, and you’re crying or you’re angry or whatever. So, remember, our amygdala cannot tell the difference. This is our amygdala. It sits behind the ears about an inch inside. The amygdala cannot tell the difference between past, present, future, real threat, thought about a real threat, or an emotional threat. And so when a thought hits it, it takes it as “Oh my God here now! Here now! Here now!” and then you start the whole cascading events of hippocampus, hypothalamus, they release cortisol body tenses up now we’re not breathing there’s no oxygen/co2 exchange. And then there is another part of the brain goes “Oh my God! We really are going to die! Holy crap! We need more energy!” and it tells the adrenal glands “Release everything at once!” So now we’re shaking like a leaf, racing thoughts, racing thoughts, pounding heart, pounding heart, puffy little breaths not going anywhere, which is never a good idea. And at this point, we either go into a panic attack or we go into a rage attack, or we just start crying and we can’t stop so it’s, it’s you know, it’s, that is a trauma response. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s part of the panic. It’s part of the, the fight, flight, freeze or fawn. Um, so visual, somatic, emotional, okay, hyper vigilance, hyper vigilance. So, always on the lookout, always on the lookout for danger. Always on the lookout for danger. It’s almost like the up periscope just gets stuck. And it’s like, Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? And it’s really hard because our brains get tired. It’s exhausting. But it’s also it’s like a self soothing kind of in a way. Because if we convince ourselves that if we’re hyper vigilant that we’re going to be safe, and that’s not always necessarily true. So the hyper vigilance really takes us out of the present moment and has us living in a future that has not happened kind of like when I assumed that whoever was coming over, we had ill intent, you know, instead of being like, Oh, great, somebody is gonna buy the chairs, you know, or whatever. It was, like, you know, okay, yeah, let’s make sure they have cash in hand, let’s make sure you know, let’s make sure they’re not, you know, going to rob us or, you know, whatever. So that hyper vigilance takes us out of the moment is prevents us from living it does, and it’s a maladaptive way of trying to stay safe. The other thing that we do is the startle response so you know, if anybody raises a hand to me, I immediately get into position to be like, try me, you know, fight. That’s my thing. That’s my jam. But yeah, like or if John comes around the corner and I’m not expecting it

Kris Godinez  18:41

I will let out a scream that I’m fairly certain everyone in the neighborhood could hear. So yeah, it’s that startle response it’s that what is this you know, kind of thing. So that is a trauma response. The startle response is a trauma responses because we’ve either been hit or we’ve been frightened You know, that’s another thing that I see that abusers do to their kids is they think it’s funny. Don’t get me started, to scare them. Like they enjoy it. Like sadistically, like sadistically. You know, my dad used to do that he used to enjoy scaring the crap out of us and he was just not a nice guy. So um, yeah, so it’s, it’s the it’s the hyper vigilance, always being on alert. 24 seven, what’s, where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s the danger? Where’s danger? And that’s exhausting. That is exhausting. And it is really hard to get that to stand down and that is going to take working on the PTSD, the CPTSD so obviously CPTSD From Surviving To Thriving Pete Walker, get it there’s also his book on Audible. I don’t like the person who reads it because they sound weird, but if you need to listen to it, and then work the workbook, do it. So get that book, start working through all of that because this is where all of this comes from is the abuse. So okay, hyper vigilance, startle response. Those are all trauma responses. losing our sense of security, losing our faith that the world is good or kind or safe, you know, we lose our safety. And in some cases, we lose our faith, especially if our abuser was using religion, to manipulate control, abuse, etc, etc, etc. So, it’s really important to separate yourself out from that and decide what works for you. You know, maybe no religion works for you. Maybe the universe works for you. Maybe Wicca works for you, maybe Christianity works for you. Maybe Buddhism works through, explore, explore, explore, explore, and work on that part of the abuse, because that is another way that abusers have infiltrated what Healthy People don’t have to put up with like, they don’t ever get that, oh, the world isn’t safe and the world isn’t trustworthy in the world isn’t you know, because their parents were safe and trustworthy. But with us, if we had parents that were abusive, we’re going to grow up with that Um show me, prove it, prove it, prove it, prove it, don’t believe it, prove it, you know, that kind of thing. So yeah, we lose our sense of security, we lose our sense of safety. We don’t have that sense that the world is good. You know, and in some cases, it’s not but in a lot of cases it is. So, you know, it’s really important to get back to that. How do I explain it? Abusers hate childlike wonder, they do. Because children have this amazing ability to see the world and they see the beauty in it, they do. If you ever watch a kid play out in the field, they will just both you know fixate on flowers, or slug or something and be fascinated by it. And just, you know, wow, this is really cool. It’s brand new, whoo, look at that, who this is great, you know, that kind of thing. abusers hate that. And they try to literally in my case, beat that out of you. You know, and so you want to get back to that sense of child like wonder, you know, the world is beautiful, that people are good, not all of them. But most of them, you know, and get back to that sense of there is beauty here, there is kindness here there is goodness here, not everyone is going to be wanting to take advantage of you. And that’s the one that I struggled with. I just mentioned that, you know, it’s like I still struggle with trust I do. I have managed to get back that childlike wonder about the universe and nature and you know, things like that. But I still struggle with trusting people. So yeah, so that is that is really important to work on. Okay, your inner child acts out out of the blue, all of a sudden, you find yourself having a temper tantrum, like a three year old. That’s a trauma response. When you don’t get your way. When you’re not getting what you want. You stamp your feet and you have a temper tantrum and you know and you try to take it out on the people around you. That’s a trauma response. Now that needs to be worked on because that means that the inner child is running the show, you do not want the inner child to run the show, the inner child is going to do the opposite of what they should be doing. So, gentleness with the inner child, write the inner child a love letter, but make it very clear you are the adult and they get to be a kid that they do not get to run the show. So, you want to get The Inner Child workbook by Katherine Taylor. Now, both the CPTSD book and the Katherine Taylor book are going to be triggering, they are going to bring up trauma responses, because we are going back and we are working through all of the stuff that happened to us at these different developmental ages. So, like I said, I had one client that, you know, called me up and was like, you know, my throat is rough. And I don’t understand why and I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like I’ve been screaming and crying and I said, Okay, how old were you working on? I was working on, you know, toddler age. Okay, how long did they leave you in the crib, and at this point, they lost it and started crying “Oh my God, I was in there for hours screaming for them to come get me!” So it’s gonna bring up trauma, it’s gonna bring up things that happened when you were a kid. somatically. So that’s a somatic response that that person had of the rough throat feeling like they’d been screaming and crying but nothing was going on what the heck is happening? remembering maybe not having a cognitive memory of it so much, but as somatic body memory of it. So, The Body Keeps Score. Bessel Van De Kolk excellent book, get it! Read it. If your trauma responses are more somatic. I would read The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van De Kolk. Great book in conjunction with all of these other books. Yeah, absolutely. So, the inner child will act out it will have a temper tantrum, it will, you know, say and do things that adults wouldn’t necessarily do? And that’s kind of like your clue of, oh, how old do I feel right now? What’s going on what’s happening? So, you want to make sure that you’re working on that and comforting that inner child and letting them know Yeah, you’re not going to get your way. So you know what, it’s still okay. I am the adult. You’re the kid. You get to go play.

Kris Godinez  24:58

I get to deal with this. And then you have an adult conversation and adult reaction to whatever is going on. So yeah, um toxic shame. Oh my god, that is definitely a trauma response to the weirdest things. So we will lay in bed at night and think of every single thing we’ve ever done wrong. That’s a trauma response, thinking of every single thing that you’ve ever done wrong and then beating the living crap out of yourself is a trauma response. And the reason it is a trauma response, think about this. Our parents, if they were alcoholic, if they were drug addicts, and they were Narcissists, they had this perfectionism going on, everybody around them had to be perfect, because everyone had to reflect back how perfect they were, when in fact, they were the least perfect people walking the face of the planet. So that any little mistake we made our noses got rubbed in it. Absolutely. And we got made Wrong, wrong, wrong wrong for doing things differently, or not doing things the way they did, or whatever I mean, prime example is mother in law comes in and makes the daughter in law wrong for the way she’s making grilled cheese. Who cares whether you use butter or mayonnaise, it doesn’t matter. The end result is a grilled cheese sandwich. Correct? So yeah, but the mother in law couldn’t drop it. Well, why are you doing it that way? That’s stupid. I don’t do it that way. I use butter yada, yada, yada, yada. Shut the hell up! You know what I’m saying. So, it’s, it’s a toxic shame. And so you know, make wrong, make wrong, make wrong, make wrong, make wrong. And so what we do at night is we’ll lay there, the little kid, obviously, the inner child will lay there and go, Oh, my gosh, you know, this person went after me for the way I cooked. And oh my gosh, maybe I did this wrong. And we did that wrong. And oh my god, and I’m terrible. And so we start beating ourselves up. This is why I say when you start working on self esteem, hugely important to do the mirror work. Hi, good to see you. Have a great day, I give you permission to like yourself, and then walk out. And then at night, you do something similar. Hi, good to see you again. You had a wonderful day. So good to see you. Here are three things you did right today, you did this right you did this right. And you did this right! I want you to go to sleep and have wonderful dreams and then go to bed. Because we never do that! We never we learn from our abusers to never, ever give ourselves credit for what we’ve done, right? Because they take credit for everything we’ve done. Or we learn that we’ve got to go over everything we’ve done wrong so that it doesn’t happen again so that we don’t get punished, which just creates toxic shame. And so when you recognize that you’re doing that, you have to literally do thought stopping. Thank you for your input. Shut the bleep bleep bleep up. I am not playing Have a nice day. I’m not inviting you in for coffee because you’re gonna stay for breakfast. No, thank you go play in traffic. Bye bye. And you send it on its way and you may have to do that several

Kris Godinez  28:03

times. The other thing you can do too, is write a letter to the toxic shame who does it really belong to you chapter three I think of CPTSD From Surviving to Thriving. He talks about maybe it’s chapter four, it’s three or four one of the two. He talks about putting it back on to the abuser you know, who does this really belong to? It’s not you. This is not your shame. This is not your issue. This is not your anger whose is it?  Oh, dear abuser. I am returning your toxic shame to you. It is not mine, have fun with it bye love me and then take it out to the barbecue and burn it. Give it back to the person belongs to it’s not yours. Okay, how are we doing on time? Oh, almost there, okay. Um, oh, wanting to be rescued, needing a good mom or dad or knight or princess in shining armor. So that’s the little kid. That is a trauma response that is the inner child desperate for a mommy or daddy or somebody to protect them. You must become your own rescuer you cannot look outside of yourself. It has to come from in here. It’s not going to happen out there. You’re not going to find it out there. But the inner child desperately wants to be loved and to be protected and cherished, which is what all children want. But when we’ve got an abuser or two for parents, the inner child doesn’t get that and then as we grow up and the inner child is still not being dealt with, the abuse is not being dealt with. The inner child starts picking our partners. This is why I keep saying your picker is broken. Stop. Don’t do not get into another relationship until you are in relationship with your inner child. Thanks for playing. So the inner child will look outside and go “Oh! There’s somebody who kind of sorta reminds me of Mom, dad. I know! If I can make them love me. I prove mom and dad wrong!” Half of a doodoo sandwich, half a doodoo sandwich, total doodoo sandwich. And that’s how we end up in abusive relationships. So, it’s really important to work on that desire to have a rescuer or to have a knight or, or princess in shining armor, you know, that’s not going to happen. You have to rescue yourself, you have to love yourself, enough to get out of toxic relationships, to get out of abuse to get out of abusive workplaces to get out of, you know, etc, etc, etc. It’s not up to somebody else. It’s up to us. Okay, and so that means working on inner child stuff. dissociation, Oh, hell yeah. So somebody wrote in and was like, when I’m confronted with somebody who reminds me, my abuser, I check out like, I’m there. And I’m listening, but I’m not there. And I’m like, That’s normal. That is totally dissociation is totally normal. That is a trigger trauma response to a trigger that is a trauma response to an abuser, that is a trauma response. Absolutely. And the dissociation can be as as mild as you freeze, right? And you’re there, but you’re unable to speak or do anything to all the way to and you check out mentally, all the way to your watching it from the corner of the room. So, you know, it just depends on your particular trauma response. You know, it’s like it could be mild, it could be major. So and that’s normal. That’s normal guys, that is normal. When we’ve been abused. That’s what we do to stay safe. That’s what we do to survive. That’s what we do to work through whatever this person is throwing at us. That’s not ours. So yeah, dissociation is absolutely to be expected. Muscle armoring. Absolutely a trauma response. How many of us have this going on? Like our ears and our shoulders have become one and those muscles are like, cables, okay? Yeah, muscle armoring, especially if we had physical abuse going on whether it was sexual or violence it’s violence, whether it’s sexual or not, but you know, violence like hitting or sexual abuse. We are we are we are muscles get tight because we’re trying to keep ourselves safe. So really important somatic, it’s a somatic response. It’s a body response Bessel Van De Kolk The Body Keeps Score read it

Kris Godinez  32:26

excellent book, muscle armoring happens and it’s really important to start working on that so something John and i just started doing is Pilates. So, we’re working on lengthening and strengthening and relax relaxing releasing that kind of thing. I mean, of course we also still work out with Jess, but Pilates is a great thing to do and I’m I’m sold on it one of my sisters I just talked to her this morning she was like oh my God, I’m so excited. You’re doing this I’m doing it too. And it’s wonderful. And boy does it help and I’m like well given that we have the same dad. Okay, good. I’m glad to know that so yeah, muscle armoring so it’s, it’s when the muscles just get incredibly tense and it’s because we are in constantly a state of  alert all the time because we’re constantly waiting for danger and so your body the amygdala responds as if we are in danger and so we’re, we’re tense we’re ready to go we’re like okay, okay, okay, I’m ready to go okay. You know it’s like so yeah, so this Yeah, physical somatic. So that’s something to be worked on massage can help with that depends some people who have been abused can’t stand massage because you’re being touched. And that can be a trigger in and of itself. So something to be aware of. So if you don’t like being touched, don’t get a massage. If you have worked through that part of the abuse, and you can handle getting a massage, I recommend it. But if it triggers you don’t Pilates is nice, because nobody’s touching you you’re doing your own thing you’re stretching they’re just you know, giving you you know, showing you modeling for you what to do and then you do it kind of thing. So, yeah, but we’ll look into ways to help those muscles relax, because we do that in order to be ready to fight flight freeze or fun. So yeah, that’s a trauma response. I’m going over time. I’m so sorry. I will get to the questions Hang on. auto immune diseases. I’ve said this before, I’m gonna say it again. When we find ourselves with chronic fatigue, when we find ourselves with auto immune diseases, nine times out of 10 I will have those clients do an ace test. You know the the children child trauma test, and they’ll have trauma like nobody’s business. So auto immune diseases, again, a somatic response to trauma so if you’ve got autoimmune diseases, I would strongly suggest working on the trauma working through taking your power back working through the trauma that happened to you, comforting the inner child reading Bessel Van De Kolk’s book, getting with a good trauma therapist doing EFT doing EMDR doing CBT, doing DBT whatever it takes get through those traumas so that your body stops turning in on itself. That’s an autoimmune disease. And why do we do that? Well I have some theories I don’t have any actual backup for this but my opinion is is that when somebody who is supposed to love us and who gave you know gave us life supposedly, you know, turns on us and tells us that we’re worthless we internalize that message and pretty soon the body goes okay, I might as well just kill myself you know, or I might as well just damage myself. So I think it’s really important Self Esteem Workbook Glen Schiraldi or You Are A Badass Jen Sincero, Disease To Please Harry Braiker boundaries because self esteem and boundaries go hand in hand CPTSD From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker working on putting all of that crap back to the abuser This is all the abuser’s crap not yours. Um, Inner Child Workbook Katherine Taylor so those are the books I recommend for that so yes, autoimmune diseases Absolutely,I believe have a root in trauma. Absolutely. People pleasing This is the last one I have on the list so people pleasing and this is part of the fawn so when we are confronted with an abuser and they’re you know abuse abuse abuse or whatever they remind us of you know mom dad, grandparents, uncle, aunt whoever the abuser was we find ourselves people pleasing fawning, you know giving a try to appease them, trying to get them on our side,, trying to trying to make them happy trying to you know, and that is codependency. So that is a trauma response so Codependent No More, Beyond Codependent No More both by Melanie Beatty. The Disease to Please by Harriet Braiker, Who’s pulling your strings also by Harriet breaker. Um, yeah.

Kris Godinez  36:45

So those are all trauma responses. Another trauma response quickly. I know I’m running out of time, I’m sorry. Another trauma response is this need for revenge. So, this tit for tat kind of thing. And it’s child thing. That’s a kid thing. That’s an inner child thing. So, if you find yourself very, very, very mired in, “Well, I’m going to get them back. And I’m going to show them and I’m going to do this and that!”  How old are you? How old are you? That is a trauma response. You need to step out of that circle, and not have any contact with this abuser because you’re never going to get what you think you’re going to get with this abuse, revenge fantasy thing. The best thing to do to an abuser guys listen to me now, believe me later. They are narcissists for the most part, and if they’re not narcissist, they’re psychopaths. And they cannot stand being ignored. If you really want to get your power back, go, no contact, boot them out of your life. live your best life without them. That’s going to drive them cuckoo for cocoa puffs. So, Alright, let’s dive into the questions. Sorry, I went a little over time. But yeah, tit for tat is a trauma response. And it is a child trauma response. So, figure out how old you are. Figure out how old you are and who you wanted to get revenge on and then write and burn an angry letter. Dear Mom, dear dad, bleep the bleep bleep bleep bleep and bleep you! How dare you? How dare you do this? You did this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Guess what? I’m raising the rent. You don’t get to live in my head rent free. One more. Second. I’m going no contact Have a nice life. I’m going to live my life really well. Have fun. And then trot it out to the barbecue and burn it. Yeah, absolutely. Can trauma response change? My first response used to be freeze. But now it seems to be fine. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. The trauma responses change as we get healthier. And as we start working through things and start experiencing things and yeah, it absolutely can change things are things are fluid. And we can revert back, we can go back to the freeze at any time. You know, it just kind of depends on our mood and what’s happening and what’s coming at us. So yeah, it can absolutely change. Because like I said, it’s like mine is usually fight. But I’ve also found on a lot of occasions, I want to flee I want to get the heck out I want to just be like, okay, we’re done by you know, that kind of thing. Um, can something like surgery or injury release trauma from the body? Well, it can Yeah, because think about it, the body and the mind are not separate. And this is, this is where I get so upset at people who seem to think that this and this are somehow two separate things. No, we are all one. It is all one. It is all one. So the thoughts influence the body, the body influences the thoughts. It goes back and forth. So yeah, can it release trauma from the body it can it can also, you know, surgery can sometimes create PTSD. I’ve had several clients that had horrible experiences in the hospital, where you know, they wake up in the middle of surgery or they had orderlies that were abusive or whatever, and they’ve got PTSD now from it. Having had surgery so yeah, it’s possible it absolutely is possible. Um

Kris Godinez  40:07

Oh for heaven’s sakes, my therapist told me I would always have suicidal ideation because of my childhood traumas. Is it true that suicidal ideations will never go away? No! That is…NO! Get a different therapist, get a therapist willing to work on the childhood traumas, when the childhood traumas go away, you will find that the suicidal ideation will also start to lessen. So, get a different therapist that works with trauma, and is willing to help you through that and giving you tools to deal with or cope with the suicidal thoughts or the suicidal ideation. So, in other words, when I got out of my family of origin, thank you, Bufo Baba, Buddha, God, Jesus, whoever, when I got away from them, things got a hell of a lot better. The suicidal thoughts were still there. But there wasn’t so much intent behind them. It was just a thought kind of thing. And as I worked with my therapist, and she started giving me the tools, okay, you have this thought, what are you going to do to replace it? You know, what’s, what’s the next right step? How can you empower yourself? How can you take your power back, because that’s really what it is, when we’re in a situation that is intolerable. And we’re being abused. It’s intolerable, right, and we were trying to find a way out, we’re trying to find a way to not hurt so horribly. And that’s why we have the thoughts of suicide, because we don’t want to hurt so horribly. So, it’s important that your therapists give you something to replace the suicidal thoughts that you can do to self soothe, that you can do to get out of the situation that you can do to help yourself and take your power back. That’s why we have those thoughts is because we are unempowered. And that’s the only way we see out. So, it’s important to start finding other ways out and replace. And that’s why I’m saying get with a different therapist, get with somebody who’s going to give you those tools that will help you so in other words, you know, I, I don’t think I’ve had a suicidal thought in literally decades. And the last one I did was probably in my 20s probably and I’m 56 now So, um, so when that thought popped up, I used the tools that I’ve been learning from my sister from therapists from you know, whatever. And it was like, okay, no, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna give them the satisfaction. Ah, Nope, sorry. What’s the next right step? You know, what can I do to live my best life? So, absolutely get with a different therapist. Um, okay, okay. Yes. All right. If I’m unable to defend or protect myself in a threatening situation, I later tend to endlessly ruminate about protecting myself in the same situation. Is this trauma response? Yes. How many of us, after dealing with jack wagons, either at work or home or, you know, whatever, come back and go, Oh, I should have said this. I could have said that. I would have said, Why didn’t I do that? Well, because you couldn’t, you shouldn’t you didn’t. So let it go. So yes, that is a trauma response. been there done that sometimes I still do that. You absolutely correct. Yes. That is a trauma response. So when the rumination starts on what you should have done this, you could have that Why did you say that? Well, you could. Okay, thank you brain. That was lovely. None of that happened. Take a deep breath, forgive yourself, forgiving yourself. Collin Tipping Radical Forgiveness for the self, Collin Tipping. So he’s got a whole series of books. He’s unfortunately passed. I love this man. He’s got a series of books one was called Radical Forgiveness. That’s about forgiving other people. Radical Forgiveness for the Self, also by Collin Tipping so it’s about forgiving ourselves. It’s like okay, well, we didn’t, we froze, or we, you know, didn’t say what we could have or should ever would have. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. I’m gonna start singing a Disney song here pretty soon. But we all do that. We all been there. Done that still occasionally do that. Yep. You betcha. You betcha. That is a trauma response. So start working with that. Start working with that get rid of those perfect pictures get rid of the coulda, shoulda, woulda it’s a mind. thing. You know what I’m saying? It’s a way it’s a way to mess yourself up. It’s a way to really take your mind on a trip that you don’t want to go on. So coulda, shoulda, woulda as soon as you hear that up, thank you for your input coulda, shoulda, woulda I am not playing your game. I didn’t. I couldn’t I wouldn’t say goodbye. You know, let it go. Let it go. So yeah, that is definitely a trauma response. Good question. Thank you. Um, do narc parents instill fear on the children? The children on purpose? Yes. Absofreakinglutely! Fear is a very powerful manipulation tool. Hold on, let me finish this question.

Kris Godinez  44:53

Do they do it on purpose to be able to infantilize them during their lives even into adulthood as the child becomes emotionally disregulated Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Fear is a very, very powerful tool. And it’s a way to keep kids stuck. Because if the kid is constantly going, if I do this, this is going to happen. If I do that, well, this is gonna so they keep them fearful, in a way to keep them never moving forward. That’s a great way to manipulate. I mean, there was one disordered person who had children, who would show the kids burned children and mutilated children. And if you do this, you’re gonna have this happen. And if you do that, you’re gonna have that, and it terrified that it terrified them for years. So yeah, yeah, they do that it’s absolutely intentional. It is absolutely to paralyze the child that has absolutely to cause the child to look at the parent is the only safe thing when in fact, that abusive parent is the only dangerous thing in their life. So yeah, absolutely. And it is a way to create emotional dysregulation. You betcha. That’s, that’s what I’m saying. borderline personality disorder is rooted in trauma, you deal with that trauma, you get the emotions regulated, you’re okay. You know, you can deal with the trauma triggers and things like that. If you don’t, then you start sliding down the spectrum. But yeah, they absolutely. You bet your bippy, yep, you are 100%. Correct. They do that on purpose, they know what they’re doing. No sane adult is going to intentionally terrorize their child, no sane adult is going to intentionally terrorize their child and create fear and instill fear. Now, you’re going to obviously teach them boundaries, and you’re going to teach them you know, okay, this is dangerous. Be careful. Here are the possible outcomes, you know, that kind of thing. But you’re not going to be like, Oh, you’re going to, you know, blow up or, you know, whatever they do, and they always go to the extreme. They always, always, always go to the extreme. You betcha. Okay, um, do you have any advice for chronic nightmares? Regarding CPTSD? I’ve worked and made a lot of progress with a therapist, but this is one component I still struggle with. You’re not alone. So chronic nightmares, that is a part of CPTSD? Absolutely. So there’s some things you could do. You could try. You could try thingy. Hello, brain gone. Not post hypnotic suggestion, but like, subliminal, subliminal stuff. So if you can play some tapes that have like, you’re safe, you’re okay, nature sounds, you know, that kind of thing. Those can help. You could also try hypnosis. You can also try EMDR. Um, that would be one or EFT would be another good one. Um, writing them out. You know, analyzing them for yourself. What are they telling you? What are they telling you? Because sometimes when we start analyzing them for ourselves, and we start working through them, we can kind of see why we’re having them. So yeah, I did. So I would try. I would try the subliminal stuff to see if you can do that. The other thing you can do too, is before you go to bed at night, you set the expectation. So when I go to sleep at night, I literally tell myself, you are going to sleep so well. You are just going to sleep soundly and have wonderful dreams and then I usually do. Of course I’ve been working on this for years, but in the beginning Yeah, I would have nightmares like nobody’s business. You betcha. So um, yeah. So you could try that during the mirror work. Hi, good to see you. Again. Here are three things you did right. You know what, you are going to sleep really well tonight. You’ve earned it. Sleep, well have good dreams. Good night, and then go to bed and then tell yourself as you’re falling asleep. I’m gonna have great dreams. It’s gonna be a wonderful night’s sleep. See how that goes. That’s kind of like a suggestion kind of thing that you’re giving your subconscious. If that does not work, try EMDR try EFT. Try hypnosis. That would be the other suggestion I would do. So I know ericksonian hypnosis is that Be very careful with hypnosis, make sure it’s somebody who has been trained and knows what the heck they’re doing. So yeah, so that’s that’s a common issue. There are there are videos and audibles with soothing subliminal thoughts, you know, like you’re safe. You’re okay. You know, that kind of thing. So look into that. That is definitely something to look into. Absolutely. And you’re not alone. You’re absolutely not alone. I noticed that even though I’m working through trauma,

Kris Godinez  49:22

I get upset all of a sudden when triggered, and rage. Oh, yeah, yeah, I can notice the thought and be aware of it, but I can’t seem to stop the adrenaline response. Okay. So as soon as you recognize that you’re triggered. This and this is for everybody. This is for panic attacks. This is for rage attacks. So what is your first physical clue that you’re getting triggered? For some people, they recognize it as soon as their heart starts pounding or they recognize it as soon as they tense up or they recognize it when their face starts to flush. Some people can’t recognize it until they’re already in the pant, pant, pant phase. Okay? So, whenever you recognize it, Oh, okay, this is a trigger, I need to breathe. So breathing, breathing, breathing breathing is the key because once the oxygen co2 exchange is normalized, the brain then tells the adrenal gland to stop and so it stops pumping out the adrenaline takes about five or 10 minutes for that to kind of calm down and you just breathe and it’s gonna take five or 10 minutes so take a break go to the bathroom, splash some water on your face. Breathe I’m safe I’m okay. Everything’s fine I do not need to turn into the Incredible Hulk I’m safe I’m okay. Everything’s fine I don’t need to kill them everything’s good you know like you do self soothing talk and breathing really is the key but it’s recognizing when do you first notice it catch it when you first notice it? If you can catch it when you’re starting to tense up oh okay I’m triggered hold on I’ll be back in 10 minutes and then you go I’m safe I’m okay everything’s fine and your breathe until you calm down so really it’s it’s really a matter of recognizing it and then immediately start the breathing the recovery process so the recovery process is getting oxygen back into the system holding it for a few seconds letting it out self soothing I’m safe I’m okay I’m fine nothing here is gonna hurt me I’m all right. So remember the subconscious is listening and then the subconscious goes oh Everything is fine kids stand down you know so work on that and it’s going to take practice it’s not going to happen overnight. Okay, after an extensive work on an inner child How does it feel to feel like a confident adult freeing freeing wow free Yang? Yes, it’s kind of like no second guessing I mean this is the beautiful because think about it our abusers especially if they were parental abusers really really loved to take the rug out from underneath us and make us second guess every thing you know Are you sure you want that for dinner? Are you sure you You sure you want your shirt you know it it’s so nice to be able to make a decision and not sit there and agonize over it. You know not sit there in second guess it’s freeing. It’s amazing. It is so nice. And the peace that comes with that the quiet That’s beautiful. That is beautiful. There’s none of that negative negative nancy inner critic you know coulda, shoulda, woulda what if, what if, what if it’s just peaceful, it’s calm, it’s quiet. It’s nice. And there’s actually kind of things being said, so Yeah, it is. It is so free. And it is so nice. And it is so worth it. And it is scary while you’re doing it. I’m not gonna lie. You know, it’s like you’re going through it. And you’re like, this sucks, you know, but then you get through it. And you’re like, wait a minute, that sucked. This is nice. I like this. So yeah, and it’s a process, but it is free. And it is wonderful. It is peaceful. And it’s worth it. Is trauma bonding, a form of control or abuse? Yes, both. So trauma bonding is where they do the intermittent positive rewards. So I love you, I love you love you. I hate you. hate, hate, hate, love, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, hate, hate, hate love. So it’s a way to get us to obey. And it’s a way to get us living for the days when they are kind or somewhat normal in bunny ears. You know, they’re never normal, but you know, and that’s what they do. It’s daunting. It’s daunting. It’s just like, you know, we don’t give a treat every single time we train a dog, we give a treat every three times or maybe ever six times. And eventually the dog will sit on its own when you just do a hand command. And why? Because they’re waiting for the treat. They’re waiting for the where’s the treat? Where’s the treat? Where’s the treat? Oh, I got the signal. Okay, what

Kris Godinez  53:54

do I do I get a treat. You know, that’s what they’re looking for. And that’s kind of what we’re looking for. We’re looking for them to be kind which is the treat. So yes, trauma bonding is a form of control. And it is abuse because healthy normal people do not do that. Only abusers do that. Healthy normal people don’t do love, hate love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love hate. And remember, everything an abuser does is with 100% fully aware of it. They know what they’re doing. Don’t give me this bs that they don’t they do. And it’s intentional. There’s an agenda. There is an agenda and it is to control and it is to abuse. Because when they hate us, we do that rumination Oh, what did I do wrong? How come they don’t love me? How come? Well maybe if I did this second guessing maybe if I did that maybe if I twisted myself into a pretzel maybe I shouldn’t have said this. Maybe I shouldn’t have called them out on the name calling maybe I shouldn’t have. See where I’m going with that. So that’s how they get us to constantly beat ourselves up and live in this rumination and second guessing and all of that. So yeah, it absolutely is control and abuse. You bet Okay, um, I have been writing about my past, my blood pressure is up, and I feel like I’m hyperventilating since I started writing, could this bring on muscle armoring? Um, it can. And it’s funny because I tend to do the same. So when I’m writing the books about things that have happened, you know, to trauma victims and and you know what to do and things like that. And it’s been a particularly horrific thing, I will find my blood pressure getting up there. So can it bring on muscle memory, it might, it might. So take a break, take good care of yourself, you know, make sure that you’ve got plenty of water, you’re eating as healthy as you can, you’re taking breaks, you’re doing something fun in between. So when things get too heavy, when I’m writing, you know, especially this fourth book, I’m still working on the third book, which is going to be out this summer. fourth book will probably be out in the fall. But when I’m writing on the fourth book, which is more about, you know, what happens to targets of abuse, after the abuse in the last sense of self and things like that, I will find myself starting to be like, Oh my god, you know, so then I’ll take a break, I’ll take a break, I’ll go get some water, I’ll do something fun. But then I come back to it and keep working. So yeah, if it’s getting too much, make sure you stop, take a break, go do something else and then come back to it and if it’s helping you keep going if it’s not don’t so you know, it’s just whatever is working for you. But yes, this is this is common, because remember, the amygdala doesn’t know the difference between past present future. So, for us, when we start writing about things that happened in the past, the amygdala goes “Oh my god! Here and now! Here now! Here now! Here now!” and of course our blood pressure starts going because we’re getting ready to fight, flight, freeze your fawn. So yeah, so take a break, get some water, eat some healthy food, and then come back to it. Yeah, totally, totally normal. Is it necessary to talk relive, exposed trauma and detailed past traumas as part of reprogramming the trauma response? Hmm, not necessarily. Because think about it. Sometimes we don’t remember the trauma, especially if the trauma happened when we were very, very small. So, the trauma may be somatic. So, the trauma may not be an actual memory cognitively. So, you know, just like that client, I was telling you about the got the raw throat. This happened when she was a toddler. So, it’s like, Okay, so, you know, there’s no memory of it, but there’s a body memory of it. So, it’s enough to know sometimes that there was trauma and it’s enough to know, okay, we have a trauma response. So clearly, there was trauma, I don’t necessarily need to know what the trauma was sometimes I know sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s really important to start working on you didn’t deserve it. You didn’t deserve it. You absolutely did not deserve whatever this trauma was, you did not deserve it. And it’s okay for you to breathe and it’s okay for you to start trusting yourself and it’s okay. Do you see where I’m going? So that you don’t have to? Sometimes it can be helpful. I mean, just like with that client, I was telling you about getting that little piece of information suddenly made a whole bunch of stuff click into place. So it just depends. So you know, do what works. That’s basically the best I can think of Okay, this this, I think that is it. Alright guys, have a great week. Be kind to yourselves. Be good yourselves. Drink plenty of water. Eat healthy foods, get some exercise, take good care of yourself. Trust your body, listen to your body. Honor your body. That is the important thing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Alright guys, I’ll talk to you later.

Kris Godinez  58:40

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Chris godinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

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