Fight, Flight, or Freeze

Kathy Jackson at the Cornered Cat linked to an important story from Limatunes. Both links are recommended, but they are difficult and potentially triggering reading. They deal with being restrained, abducted, beaten, and raped.

We all know that fear induces the fight or flight reaction, but we don’t talk about the third option.  Sometimes, we freeze.  We shut down. Lima was pulled out of a public place by her hair and couldn’t even cry out for help. And there was no good Samaritan that jumped in either. She was on her own in her nightmare.

This is why we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  This is why we look at the very real violence that happens in our world every day.  We hope it never comes to visit us. But the only way we can prevent the freeze is to have a plan for the worst. This is why we scan for exits when we find ourselves in new surroundings.  This is why we learn to use the tools we carry. We hope to take flight.  Barring that, we want to be ready for the fight. We can do neither if we freeze.

One thought on “Fight, Flight, or Freeze”

  1. Thank You Jennifer for sharing this, I can’t imagine the horror she felt and it enrages me nobody helped as I have a daughter who is my princess for life. I would like to have heard the excuses for non involvment, but I have a suspicion they are analogous with non-compassion. Not willing to help someone in need like that is profound narcissism.

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