Home Family & SocietyRelationship with Life, Society & God Childhood Trauma and the Emotionally Frozen Adult

Childhood Trauma and the Emotionally Frozen Adult

written by Oliver JR Cooper June 11, 2020
Childhood Trauma and the Emotionally Frozen Adult

Oliver JR Cooper discusses how an adult can be emotionally frozen after experiencing childhood trauma.

Now, although someone will have a head and a body, it doesn’t mean that they will find it easy to connect to what is taking place in their body. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to connect to the sensations in their body; no, what it means is that it can be hard for them to connect to how they feel.

In general, it could seem as though they are emotionally dead and simply don’t have emotions. As a result of this, they could typically feel numb and even ‘dead’ inside, with this being how they have been for as long as they can remember.

Emotionally Flat

If they were to look back on their lives and reflect on what it has been like, they could find that they have often felt low and even depressed. And when it comes to the feelings that they do experience, these could be anger, frustration, and a general sense of despair.

During the moments when they have been able to experience a sense of aliveness, this may have come when they have consumed something. Through artificial means then it will have been possible for them to feel more whole.

Disposition

When it comes to how they approach life, they are likely to be someone who relies on their intellect to guide them. Other people could typically describe them as someone who is rational or very logical.

Along with this, others could say that they are very heady, lack emotion, and are cold, for instance. Thus, the type of feedback that they receive is not always going to be positive and life-affirming.

A Huge Challenge

As for the people that are in their life, one may find that they don’t feel close to any of them. This is not much of a surprise considering that they don’t have a good connection with their emotional self – the part of them that would allow this to take place.

In addition to this challenge, one is likely to find it hard to feel connected to anything. Once again, the part of them that would allow this to take place will generally be out of their reach.

Both Ways

One will then be used to feeling disconnected from their emotions and disconnected from life itself. This is likely to be anything but pleasant, and they may have thought about ending it all at least once.

Experiencing life in this way is going to make it hard for them to not only feel alive but to feel powerful. In fact, they might believe that they have very little control over their life and the direction that it takes.

What Is Going On?

After reflecting on what is going on, they may have a highly developed ability to reflect, they could find it hard to comprehend why they are like this. They could believe that there is something inherently wrong with them, or believe that they were born this way.

If they do believe the former or the latter, or both, there is going to be very little that they can do about what is going on. The only thing that they will be able to do is to accept what is taking place and put up with it for the rest of their time on this earth.

Another Angle

The question is: what if one is this way because they were extremely traumatised during their early years and shutting down was the only way for them to survive what took place? If this is the case, there is nothing inherently wrong with them, and they were not born this way either.

Many years will have passed since this stage of their life, but what took place won’t be fully behind them. Being emotionally numb or frozen will have caused them problems – that much is crystal clear – yet this will be their body and mind’s way of stopping them from being overwhelmed by all of the arousal that is held in their body.

A Massive Build-Up

To use an analogy, it will be as though there was water at one end of a floor, and if it got to the other end, it would end up coming into electric cables and causing a lot of problems. To stop this from happening, the water ended up turning into ice, thereby stopping the water from going anywhere.

In the same way, as their body shut down, it would have stopped their feelings from entering their psyche. While this would have set them up to become a divided human being (as R. D. Laing would have said), it kept them alive.

Breaking Through

To break through this frozenness, one will most likely have to work through many, many defenses. They are not going to be working through anything physical, but it can seem as though they are.

The main survival response that will keep this disconnection in place can be the freeze response. Underneath this response will be all of the feelings that they experienced throughout their early years.

A Closer Look

There probably won’t just be one freeze response to get out of the way either; it is likely that there will be many of these responses to clear. Under this response can be rage, panic, terror, helplessness, and powerlessness, amongst other things.

There can also be the feeling that they are going to die, and this will reflect how horrific this time of their life was. If they can only connect to feelings and not memories, it could be a sign that what took place happened before their brain was developed enough to remember.

Awareness

If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they will probably need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Log In

Lost Password

Register

The first step to becoming a member of the RD&T Community and the beginning of your personal Journey to Ultimate Success:

Join Now

Click the button below to register for a free membership and have access to unlimited articles.