Sometimes we are overwhelmed by trauma which no ordinary human can manage. This often happens to military personnel who serve in war zones and to the first responders who protect us as police, firefighters and medical professionals. When we encounter too many losses in a short period of time and can’t process them, we tend to freeze energy around them to protect ourselves from feeling the pain of our experiences.
Sometimes we hold on to something because it is incomplete and we want a satisfactory ending. This can be especially problematic when the person or event with whom we want to complete something is long gone from our lives, either because they have died or have changed so much that the original just no longer exists. It’s like wanting to complete something with a 30-year-old parent who is now 80 years old and does not even remember the incident that you have held on to for 50 years.
The more things you are holding on to, the more likely it is that some of them will be reactivated by the ordinary stress of just living. That’s when we sometimes experience anxiety or depression that seems to have no particular cause.
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