Horsey Therapist

Monday, January 22, 2007

More thoughts Fight or Flight

My friend commented on a previous entry: "Fear creates aggression and anger in humans. (Because we are not programmed to run first?)"

My perspective includes human development issues, and knowing what I do about some deficits in (just about?) every human's early childhood relationships, I suggest we are simply not able to "run first" when the early psychic injuries occur. (Picture a three month old who might have to wait longer than she wants to get picked up, fed, or offered some friendly and interesting human interaction.) Nor have many of us, at any stage of life, had an abundance of good role models for how to set up and protect personal boundaries without moving into defensive emotions, like anger and aggression.

So when something else happens later, whammo! Those emotions get activated (thanks to adrenalin and cortisol connected in our old brain with certain external triggers -- think: survival instinct) whether we want them to or not. Again thinking about those 'later' moments when the chemicals have stopped rushing through the bloodstream when we wonder 'why did I do THAT?!

We who do stop and think about things later, searching for different ways to behave, end up drawing those "teachers" to us who will point to something new. The saying comes to mind: "When you are ready, the teacher will be there."

Interesting stuff to think about. It may lead me to read up more and integrate more of the stuff I have heard about the brain and hormones and actions, etc. -- now that I'm looking to tie that information to our horse/human relationships.

I'm certainly growing some curiosity for a better understanding of the range of defenses a horse will use!

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