Exposure to continuous trauma causes the body’s alarm system to be easily triggered, releasing stress hormones that interfere with reasoning and activate that flight, fight, or freeze response. Children cannot learn or get along with friends or family members when living in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze. Rather, their goal is to survive.
He was six and it was his unexpected, quiet remark that clearly described the struggle, “I just feel like something bad is going to happen all the time.” For this boy, like many others, childhood included too many scary life experiences. He was well prepared to respond to danger at any time – he knew it well.