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#74532 - 04/19/03 09:47 PM Things That Go Bump In the Day
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Traumatic stress, of the kind many of us male survivors suffer, has the effect of distorting or rupturing our boundaries. This creates a loss of our sense of safety in relation to the world.

Another peculiar effect resulting from loss of accurate sense of bundaries is actual physical clumsiness and the tendency to hurt ourselves.

We often bump into objects even in familiar places
especially on the side of the body where somatic dissociation can be documented by
"nonphysiological signs;" ie near where a particular trama/abuse occured or a place we somehow dissociate with a traumatic event.

Man I do this a lot. I can even be looking at something and thinking about avoiding it and still
smack right into it!

"This increased risk in traffic probably is related to distraction resulting from dissociation
as well as suppression of attention and visual perception in regions of boundary rupture...often
identifiable as developing in the perceptual region where the [previous traumatic] threat was first identified."

No wonder I've had so many car accidents, even tho not my fault. While I was not really hurt in any except the last one (back sprain), every time I did as I look back at the ones I remember clearly have an increase in my various aches & pains, centered mostly in the back & neck.

This is where most of my pain still is or is referred from. Not surprisingly, my neck & back are the source of some of my earliest physical traumas, which involved being roughly shaken back & forth until my back would bend & my head snap back, when I was still a baby.

It was after that last accident in 1993 that I began to develop the constant often severe pain I now know to be fibromyalgia, and a worsening of my depression that only recently has been dx'd as Complex PTSD due to abuse trauma.

I've always been a kinda clumsy awkward kid, but even more so in recent years.

However I find that as I continue in recovery, therapy & support, putting pieces of my life's puzzle like these together, I become less klutzy,
have stronger boundaries, and am much healthier.

But sometimes I'm still one of those things that goes bump in the day...

The above is excerpts along with some of my thots
& experiences on a book by Dr. Robert C. Scaer called "The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease", Haworth Medical Press,

Highly recommended if you have any physical problems along with your abuse trauma. Even if you don't. Good stuff on sources & effects of trauma, and on dissociation.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#74533 - 04/19/03 10:23 PM Re: Things That Go Bump In the Day
Sick Puppy Offline

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Wow!! I'd never heard of anything like that before! This is one of those things that is just so incredibly new and strange to me that I am not sure what to say. I'd just never heard that connection made before in my life but I can certainly relate to it, and it makes a lot of sense. I am physically pretty clumsy but I always assumed that I was just born that way or perhaps I had some sort of slight neurological problem because of difficulties in my birth or injury during infancy. Now I am wondering if it has anything to do with this. I can think of specific clumsinesses and trace it back to specific abuses relating to the same parts of the body... but perhaps it is just my imagination. I am very clumsy with my head, hands, and back (well, to the extent that it's possible to be clumsy with a back) and this was where most of my physical abuse was centered during early years. I suppose a lot of people are clumsy with their head and hands though so it could just be a coincidence.

Anyway, it has given me a lot to think about, and I certainly learned something new today! Thanks!

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

#74534 - 04/22/03 06:00 PM Re: Things That Go Bump In the Day
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...

Could be your imagination, could be coincidence.

All I know is if I'da listened to my body more a long time ago, and had doctors who could help me do so, I'da been a lot better off a lot sooner.

Now when my body talks, I listen. I learn a lot about myself that way.

That's my experience anyway.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#74535 - 04/23/03 06:34 AM Re: Things That Go Bump In the Day
RickL Offline

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
This is interesting.

As a child, I felt very uncoordinated. I was not "strong" or "centered" in my body. I was poor at sports. I could not climb the rope. Looking back, I really had less dominion over my body. And that made me unpopular with the other boys, who were demonstrating their mastery over their bodies.

It's ironic, because today, with some good recovery under my belt, I feel I have a reasonable dominion over my body. While no superathlete, I would consider my physical strength and "centeredness" to be much better than when I was a kid. Hmmm. I hadn't connected all this to the abuse, but it makes sense!

Victor, your thoughtful approach to your self-care, self-nurture, and general recovery, I feel certain will insure your emancipation from all of these physical challenges. You've come a long way, friend. Never lose faith!


#74536 - 04/24/03 11:41 AM Re: Things That Go Bump In the Day
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...

Thanks a lot bro--and the same to ya! \:D

Dr. Scaer, on page 86 of his book, is talking about "[The] phenomenon of pain modulation in stress by endorphins [which] may contribute to one of the more bizarre and at times confusing behaviors of victims of trauma: the seemingly subconscious need to reexperience the traumatic event."

In other words, when we were abused our endorphins
kicked up a notch or more, helping us to survive in the midst of all the pain. But it also gave us kind of a rush, a high that has often led many of us to in some way seek traumatic reexperiencing. Sometimes, by going back for more SA. Probably more often, in some other way, like extreme sports, which Dr. Scaer also talks about (pp 93-95). Or MVA's (Motor Vehicle Accidents)...

"I have treated numerous patients who have been involved in a succession of multiple motor vehicle
accidents...Some of these accidents may be the result of distractibility due to the effects of trauma and associated dissociation. Others may be related to low-grade hyperarousal, and resulting overreaction to events in traffic [ie road rage]
...Sometimes the accident is no fault of the victim, and is seemingly inexplicable." (p 86)

Was I trying to have accidents? No way! I was only charged in one accident, and that was a false charge.

Were my boundaries messed up, so that I became on the highway one of those things that go bump in the night, or day. Yes, in part.

In addition, I think I was in some strange way looking for the source of my pain, the trauma that caused it. Not having the knowledge of my CSA at the time anyway, and certainly with no desire to go thru anything like that again, I looked in other wrong places, like on the road, from a car.

Until I got into therapy, after the last MVA.

Now my ways of digging at the roots of my trauma & pain are overall much healthier & effective in digging them up.

Ripping out those rotten roots & growing a new life--now that's a real high worth getting!


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck


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