Something all of us know is the emotional state of fear. It can be something that happend quickly and scared you, or fear can be experienced through a trauma. But what is fear? And why do we feel scared in some situations?
Fear itself is mainly starting in your thoughts, followed up by a fysical reaction. Our bodies are using fear to warn us for danger and to make sure we will survive. Fysical reactions are mostly related to a phenomenon called ‘fight or flight mode’ and I want to add to the the possibility of ‘freeze’ to that. These fysical reactions differ per person and are part of a very deep subconsious evolution structure. Before the fysical reactions actually happen, a whole mental process is going on in the brain. Sometimes the brain responds to fear  by quickly looking for all the ways out of the situation, or by overthinking and blocking your ability to react. Just know, all of these reactions are totally okay and before being able to be aware of them it is very hard to understand, let alone change them.
So now let’s link these explanations of fear to the topic we advocate for: Domestic violence. Is there a pattern regarding fear in these violent situations? Yes, most of the time there absolutely is. In many cases the survivor has reached a point of fear where they are too scared to even leave the situation.
But how does it get this far and can you recognize this before hand?
One of the first  things thats starts to inflict fear into a person’s mind is: the perceivance of lack/dependence. When you feel like you really really NEED this other person you are more likely to compromise or even agree with them even when you actually do not. You feel like you need them and that you should not do anything that could possibly make them leave you. How to solve this? Only start a commitment when you have sat with yourself as a person, know what values you stand for and what you have to offer. Be very sure of yourself!! I will write about how to get more confident soon :).
Once you sense this other person is trying to force control over you by trying to push you into compromising against your will, this is a red flag! By being aware and knowing yourself it is easier to see this technique through, detach and react accordingly.
The second technique of how fear is inflicted in a violent situation is by repetition. You can think of the example of teaching a puppy how to sit, by repeating it over and over it will become second nature and the puppy doesn’t know any different than to sit.  If someone is lowering your self esteem repetitively, and you do not reflect on this behaviour with people on the outside, it is almost impossible for you to remain confident! This is for every single human being in the world, it doesn’t matter on your culture or education etc. Once someone dear to you repetitively drags you down, you will get scared or turn inside yourself more often to avoid this situation from happening.
This technique, combined with only receiving information from one person (some people are detached from family and friends) is a very toxic manipulation technique that most of the time always works.
Inflicting fear actually is one of the most important tools a person can use to gain control over another being. This technique is used for centuries and as well by governments or in wars. It is the repetition and lowering self esteem that are the root of trauma. How? Because by repetition something can become a subconsious habit, and this is exactly what survivors suffer most from once they are out of the bad situation. It can be in all shapes and forms: not daring to voice your opinion, running away when someone makes a certain gesture, feeling the need to defend yourself etc.
I personally struggled most with having a healthy argument in new relationships after the domestic one. I never wanted  to argue and wanted to sleep on the ground after (because I was used to having to sleep on the ground after an argument). A lot of these underlying trauma’s can be solved by reprogramming them and unlearning them. Some ways to do this? That is the next topic <3