“My back and neck always hurt.” “My stomach is always in knots.” “I’m exhausted all the time.” “I have an autoimmune disease.” If this sounds familiar and you are a survivor of abuse, you are so not alone. Many, many, many survivors of abuse come out with chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, chronic skeletal and muscle issues due to always being in fight, flight, freeze or fawn mode.
When we are living for years in fear the levels or cortisol and adrenaline are through the roof. The body cannot stay at that level for extended periods of time without the body just finally throwing in the towel. So what can be done? Well, first off is acknowledging the level of stress you have been under. No, you aren’t over reacting or imagining things (as our abusers would so often tell us and try to convince us of) you really are feeling what you are feeling in your body.
We store trauma in our bodies. Bodies do not lie. Bessel Van De Kolk wrote a fantastically helpful book called “The Body Keeps Score” I highly recommend reading it if you are reading this blog and frantically shaking your head YES! Next, get with a good trauma therapist to help you process and work through the childhood or adult trauma. Also, look into a damn good naturopath or western med doctor that understands autoimmune/trauma issues. Look into ways to do self care that will help you lower your levels of cortisol and adrenaline such as meditation, writing and burning letters, journaling etc.
Something as simple as allowing yourself to sit and soak your fit can feel freeing. The most important thing is to validate what you are feeling and experiencing. Be ever so gentle with you! Listen to your body!