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Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,122
Location: Alpena MI

25 Sep 2022, 4:55 am

I have been remembering my childhood lately and I realized I had a pattern of leaving to escape what seemed like constant pressure/demands/ correction/ punishment. I would hide whenever I heard my parent seeking me. If I was being scolded and they did not have firm grasp on my arm or clothing, I would leave/stampede/escape if I though there was the opportunity. This happened after I got as big as my parent and they could no longer intimidate me physically through being hit/spanked/physically punished. I would hide for hours either in the house or somewhere nearby. I was afraid to go out "into the world". When I thought the parent was distracted or had begun to focus on something else and it might be safe ( or if I got hungry or thirsty or cold/wet/had to use the bathroom I would eventually come out of hiding. I was always told that if I did that again they would send me away to a "home" or an institution. They wanted rid of me so badly. I actually never stopped doing that because I had a fantasy that I'd be loved or cared for and not constantly punished. I eventually grew up and left on my own. Did you run away to escape, did you hide a lot? Do you have a story to tell about leaving. I recognize today that for me this was the trauma response "flight" of the human responses to trauma (fight, flight, freeze and fawn) Most always otherwise I had learned fawning (appeasement) to survive. Now tell me about your flight/elopement/escape experiences.
I have done this as an adult too, when I feel assailed in the middle of an argument or the focus of somebody else's anger. I simply am not emotionally equipped to deal with it. ( is anybody, when they are overwhelmed and they feel threatened-even if the threat is not real but reaction to long ago trauma??)


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Joined: 4 May 2020
Age: 21
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 9,212

25 Sep 2022, 9:42 am

I used to wander and run off when I was a toddler, and hide when I was in trouble, but I figured out that if I do that I'll get screamed at and it'll be worse if that was already going to happen. I wasn't ever able to escape abuse when I was a kid, so I learned to just freeze up and dissociate to deal with it. Now I dissociate whenever I get anxiety. I also still freeze up when I'm in trouble or being confronted for any reason because I'm afraid to walk off and get in more touble.

The longer I'm away from my parents I get the urge more and more to run off when I experience extreme anxiety though, and I've started leaving and avoiding situations. I'm slowly learning that it's possible to do that now, which probably isn't that good either. I've had to stop myself from leaving during work or leaving the house when really upset.


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Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 49,745
Location: UK

25 Sep 2022, 9:49 am

I'm a runner. Always have been.

I didn't like the family that the social services placed me with. It was abusive. I didn't ever feel like i loved anyone or that anyone loved me so there wasn't very much point in me staying there. I always felt like I was looking for where I did belong so I just would leave wherever I got placed and find my own places to go.

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jimmy m

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Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 74
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,495
Location: Indiana

25 Sep 2022, 5:56 pm

In general, I do not panic.

One time I was walking in the woods and a large rattlesnake tried to strike me but missed and instantly coiled and prepared to strike again. He had a large lump along one side and I figured he had just eaten something and it turned him off balance. I immediately froze dead solid and tried to figure out what to do. I figured if I moved and tried to run away, he would instantly strike again. I thought about attacking him. Many thoughts passed through my mind but nothing seemed good.

Then something strange happened. The rattlesnake went off into the woods.

It dawned on me afterwords that the rattle snake could only see me if I moved. Because I was standing perfectly still, I was invisible. After a few minutes, the snake decided it might be dangerous to stay next to something that might attack him, so he left.

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Joined: 6 Aug 2022
Age: 71
Gender: Female
Posts: 11
Location: US

26 Sep 2022, 1:49 pm

Yes. Here are some examples:

When I was a child under about age 9-10, I would run upstairs to my bedroom to hide whenever visitors came to our house, especially if they were unexpected. Much to the dismay of my family, who would explain it as "she's taking a nap" until I was too old for that to be plausible. Then they would say that I was working on homework. Sometimes I even went so far as to hide in the closet of my room, in the dark.

Also, I ran away on the day I was taken to the hospital to have my tonsils out when I was 5. While my mother was registering me at the check-in desk, I slipped away and was halfway home before I was caught and brought back. It was a small town, and I knew my way around, so this isn't quite what it would have been in a larger city, but still.

Definitely the "flight" component.


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Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,468
Location: Outter Quadrant

26 Sep 2022, 5:49 pm

Home was intolerable. At five tried to runaway . Then used to hide underneath the house in the crawl space.or in the bushes in the yard ,from all elder siblings/ parents ,Except Father but his threats were very scary mentally.When younger . Once when I could foresee a big threat one day about 8 yrs old , Siblings had set me up ,yet again and Caused parents to side with them ,instinctively recognizing the situation . I grabbed a steak knife out of the kitchen drawer and back my way into the large bedroom / playroom. With beds in it .As they blocked the only way out of the room , I cried and cried , they chanted .. crybaby over and over again , And anticipated physical violence once again.
Then I raised the. Knife up . And squeezed my way inbetween the bed and the wall. Eventually they drifted away from the door and separated . Me fighting not to shut down. In process of a meltdown. Not understanding what was wrong. As I aged they siblings figured I forgot the variety of things they had done , Almost . But mind was so occupied by trying to adjust to world of NTs . And make some kind of life for me.Just a (Small snapshot of a view of my early life.) But I did learn what was not nice to do to another person early on . By early example ,By 6 yrs. I had observed other neighbourhood families with children whom did not interact like ours . And knew things should be different .( instinctively)
Ain’t memory a wonderful thing. But so is Forgiveness .. Eventually made a life for myself .

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Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 50,661

26 Sep 2022, 7:07 pm

I tend to freeze and fawn.
The freezing looks like shutdowns.
The fawning looks like helplessness / avoidance of conflict.

In the online world I'll fight with words.
In the real world I go mute and don't use words.

I've always had a hard time with flee.
I owned my house since I was quite young.
It's hard to flee when you are the homeowner.
It would be great if I could have made other people flee.