We are frozen alive.

Photo by  Colin Rex  on  Unsplash

Photo by Colin Rex on Unsplash

It started with the #metoo campaign.

I shared about two isolated events where I was sexually assaulted years ago the night before all of our timelines blew up with #metoo #metoo #metoo.

I was healing something and I wasn't totally clear about what it was becoming or what drove me to share, and then the wave of #metoo's came and I started to watch, intently. The synchronicity of my own experience with the world's experience amazed me.

There's a thing that's happening on the surface. Women are getting angry and fed-up. They are starting to speak, to use their voice, to rectify places where they've been wronged.

Every single woman I work with is at this crossroads. I cannot tell you how many of my clients have been speaking ancient truths or outright screaming on our calls (at my invitation, mind you) in the past few weeks.

And it'd be easy to look at all this and immediately say FINALLY! FINALLY WE ARE FIGHTING BACK.

But there is a much deeper wound here. A deeper wound that our anger and our outrage and our willingness to FINALLY SPEAK UP is protecting with a vengeance.

We are not actually fighting back. This is not a fight against men who have wronged us. We are fighting to protect our comfort. We are fighting to protect feeling stuck. We are fighting to protect our externally sourced sense of safety.

Because we have been frozen alive. For decades. For generations.

And society has celebrated it. We've learned to think things through, be prepared, get smart, know better, gather a variety of accolades to celebrate our brilliance that we established as a means to protect ourselves from the very real reality of being frozen alive.

Because when we're frozen we feel helpless. We can't run away, and we can't fight. And so the only obvious thing to do is think our way out of sticky situations.

Because when our bodies are frozen, the only thing that will save us is our minds.

Adaptable, resourceful, versatile, quick-thinker, resilient, keeping our proverbial shit together.

These words are who we become when our primary defense mechanism is freeze. AND WE GET HIRED EXPLICITLY FOR THEM.

Most of us don't even know we're frozen because we're just so fucking functional. Gifted, really.

And yet, the more frozen we are, the more successful we tend to be. Because somehow, we've managed to successfully control our way through a truly debilitating defense mechanism. Because western society doesn't tend to celebrate those who escape the world, or those who are overly aggressive while staying in it. Especially women.

And yet, find us in a situation of sexual assault and not only do we do nothing, WE ACT LIKE NOTHING EVEN HAPPENED. Over and over again.

"Act normal and maybe no one will notice."

Out of the hundreds of #metoo's I read (including the one I wrote myself), that was the common denominator.

That's how frozen we are.

(This - and how we can heal this - is what my book is about.)