Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight, how do I respond in times of stress?  Do I run or do I put on my boxing gloves?

Many times I shy away from confrontation.  In the past I would sometimes deal with very difficult situations by leaving, quitting or running away.  I think in those times something inside of me would shut down and that would be the only way I thought I could deal with life in that moment.  Unfortunately my plan would never deal with what would happen tomorrow.

As I transitioned to adulthood, I realized that flight wasn’t always the answer, that there would be times where I would have to persevere through the difficult times if I wanted to make anything of my life.  This also meant I had to squash some of my depressive thoughts and thoughts of worthlessness that would sometimes contribute to the idea of fleeing.

I grew up in a household where there was often verbal conflict.  My parents could be very authoritarian at times, with incredibly old fashioned views.  Even as a young adult they thought they could bully me into doing things their way.  I have conflicting voices in my brain during times of conflict I think based on how I was raised.  There is a part of me where I think my nervous system is activated, I feel sick to my stomach and feel as if my head will explode if I can’t get out of the situation.  The other part of me wants to revert to the way my family used to fight.  I’m not proud that I acted in a verbally ugly way at times in my marriage.  For the most part though I have tried to coach myself not to act in an ugly sort of manner.  In marriage though, like other times in life, one has to find a way to work through the bigger conflicts, and neither fleeing, or fighting in a manner which can be ugly is the answer.

Most people who know me in the outside world probably wouldn’t imagine there would be that ugly side deep down in me.  I am somewhat reserved and quiet in the workplace.  I try to stay out of the drama.  There are times though where I am more assertive, and that surprises people.  I had a day like that recently, where the lock to my inner voice had been broken and the words flowed freely, and I had to take responsibility for the words I’d uttered at work.  Not that I didn’t stand behind what I’d said…normally I just wouldn’t have said it out loud.

Due to my past record of sometimes quitting earlier in life, I would later say to myself…you must stick this situation out.  Then there was a bit of a pendulum swing where I realized sometimes fleeing can be the right thing to do as well.

2 thoughts on “Fight or Flight

  1. Yep,, gotta pick our battles carefully. Dont wasre energy on the petty and always avoid sounding shrill.

    Stand up for ourselves and others when truly needed only..and only if it is safe to do so.

    Many a marriage dies from immature bickering. And dont bother talking to those who are not open to listening to reason.

    The flee or flight decisions sometimes, however, must be made quickly..and dont allow much time for consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

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