The Conditioned Nervous System (PART 2)

A trauma-sensitive perspective on abuser/abused, victim/narcissist 

This is part 2, please first refer to part 1 before reading (click here)

Last week we explored the conditioning of the nervous system from the perspective of driving a car, but also how the nervous system becomes conditioned with a bundle of reactions and reflexes which show up in the way we relate to others.

Let's follow on from that and continue to explore how the victim/abuser cycle perpetuates itself and how both sides of the equation live from and in a trauma response which is perpetuated by the dynamic within the relationship.

 The dance becomes one of victim/perpetrator/rescuer. Usually our partner will mirror the opposite response to the one that dominates our patterning, if we are in a fight response and perpetrator role they will move into either a fawn, freeze or collapse (victim and rescuer).

The fawn or freeze causes them to be unable to leave the relationship, to walk on eggshells to...

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Addiction for a very long time is something that has been stigmatised, shamed, looked down upon and people who are suffering from addiction are punished, outcasted from society and sent to prison.

The cultural view on addiction for the most part is that it has been some kind of moral failing, lack of willpower, a personal defect within the person or a conscious choice someone makes (like anyone would choose to live a life suffering in the grips of addiction).

The second model of addiction arose with the creation of 12 step programs, which is the disease model. This was a step in the right direction as it taught so called “addicts” to relate to themselves differently.

They where taught that they have an incurable disease which must be managed and if they where to refrain from using substances, they must attend meetings and work a thorough program in order to live a functional life free from their substance of choice, and the chaos active addiction causes.



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Addiction...what causes it??



In spiritual circles you might hear addiction described as a loss of the Self or Soul.
People often say the addictive behaviour is an attempt to get Home, a longing to experience their true self.

From a nervous system perspective the behaviour is actually trying to find Home....ostasis.

When someone becomes dysregulated due to their life circumstances they will get 'stuck' pinging between a shutdown response & over activation.
Using external means to try and regulate is a natural human inclination.

Some of these means are stigmatised by society, some are rewarded. The mechanism however, is the same.

If we only spend our time looking at the surface level manifestation of addiction then we can never truly understand.
We'll get stuck treating symptoms and telling people to "just say No"

This lens with which the collective has viewed addiction up until now has seen a slow steady increase in addiction rates over the past couple of centuries, despite a 'war' being declared...

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How to rise above fear and uncertainty.


These are certainly uncertain times that we are currently experiencing on a global level.

So, as the worlds economy is crashing, many of us are losing our jobs and businesses and aren’t sure if we can properly provide for our family let alone battling the fear of catching a potentially dangerous virus… it is fair to say that collective stress is at an all time high.


One of the major shake ups, apart from a need to isolate, is the uncertainty around money and the stress that that can bring.

By definition stress is; a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.


Isn’t this definition relevant for these times!

An alternative way to look at stress, as we look at it, is that your reality is not matching your desires that you have created or are a custom to in your mind. I’ll repeat this point just so it sinks in…for example… if you really want chocolate ice cream - you have been...

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