My actions had been instinctive—a carryover from childhood abuse. Not every survivor has such reactions, but it’s a common one when someone startles us. Even now if I’m involved in something and someone calls my name, I jump.
I refer to it as the big freeze, because I’m emotionally paralyzed for a few seconds. Or I numbed out when faced with a powerful emotion. It took me several years not to freeze when a man embraced me at social gatherings.
This past Sunday I was in church before the service began and wasn’t aware of someone coming behind me. George grabbed me from behind and hugged me. It startled me, of course, but I felt no visceral reaction. It just felt good and healthy.
I am overcoming my deep freeze.
I am feeling my emotions.