Joshua’s empowering feeling, having survived a potentially dangerous experience.
Joshua is overjoyed and feeling relieved and empowered when the stranger danger event is finally over. He is feeling happiness, strength and well being. There has been no damage to his psyche due to his traumatic experience. The expertise of his teacher who knew how to allow the pent up energy to dissipate from his body, created this outcome. https://joanederrick.com/joshuas-compassionate-teacher-provides-refuge-for-him/
The memory of trauma remains in the cells of the body when it is not allowed to dissipate in a natural way. This dissipation can be quite dramatic for an onlooker. The body may choose a multitude of ways to do so, such as shaking, crying, laughing, shouting and running around; all of which releases the pent-up energy. The behavior during this dissipation can be quite confronting unless we understand why it is happening. Perhaps this discomfort is why ‘the stiff upper lip’ is demanded of everyone in our society. Adults and children are often told ‘Get over it; grow up; don’t be a baby; toughen up!’ We are unaware of the damage we do with these responses.
Understanding the fight, flight and freeze process is vital.
It is beneficial for everyone to learn how the basic instinct of fight, flight and freeze syndrome works to keep us safe; and how to allow it to run its full course. This is necessary to prevent the syndrome from coming back again and again in other traumatic circumstances. Very often it is triggered by a perceived traumatic circumstance which can be just as debilitating as a real circumstance. A great resource book is ‘Waking the Tiger’ by Peter Levine.
It was empowering for Joshua to have had a supportive and caring group of people around him during his traumatic experience. He was never doubted, ridiculed or dismissed. He was allowed to process the event in a healthy way. The whole community benefited by the way the event was handled as a threat to other children was averted.
Recognising a weakness is beneficial in making changes.
It’s a great ‘aha moment’ when a weakness in a system or a way of doing things is recognised. Only when we have these moments do we start to think in new and different ways to resolve such issues. It was such a moment for Joshua’s mother and teacher when Joshua stated. ” I know Mummy, but you told me we could trust a policeman.” This moment may never have happened, had the predator not impersonated a policeman. Serendipity is a word for this kind of moment.
Children feel more comfortable and respond better to their environment when they are taught ways to determine dangerous situations. This is very empowering for them and peace of mind for their parents.