Frozen in fear, staring out from an icy cage

Robbie Griffin
2 min readApr 22, 2021

I finally found the courage to confront my friend about her addictions

I didn’t realise how much it affected me

It triggered my childhood experiences

I think I have been frozen for days

Too scared to share what was burdening me

Paralysed by fear

Petrified to speak my true feelings

Fearing I would make things worse

Going back to old patterns

Trying to pretend it wasn’t happening

Whilst slowly eating me up inside

My torment leaked out in other ways

Being extremely reactive and irritable

Taking it out on those closest to me

In situations unworthy of such retribution

Like a tightly coiled spring ready to explode at any time

My nervous system hijacked

It was pendulating between fight and freeze

I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin

I didn’t know where to turn or who to fight

The trembling of the inner child felt strong

A five-year-old boy, frozen in fear

staring out from an icy cage of trauma

Unsure of what to do, where to move next

Desperate to feel safe

As I find the courage to speak

And unravel the layers of hurt at the surface

Relieving the protectors of their duties

And there, I find points of deep tenderness

The essence of innocence and love

— — — — —

Being brought up in a household with addictions created a childhood where I didn’t feel safe.

Breaking through the emotional dissociation has been a deep journey for me.

It was a coping mechanism when I was young, when it was too overwhelming to feel, protecting me.

We’ve all had events in our life that have activated a trauma response which is forever remembered in the body.

Sometimes it can be so subtle that we don’t even realise we are in it.

Or it can be such a familiar space for us that we are unaware our trauma has been activated.

I’ve had experiences where I believed I was ‘fine’ but in reality, I was in freeze.

In these moments, my mind feels sharper as the animal response is activated.

I am in a state of hyper vigilance.

In working with clients, I am able to bring greater awareness to their internal worlds and mechanisms.

Giving them tools to work with their primal response.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to bring greater awareness to these vulnerable parts of our being and finding the gifts they hold.

Are there parts of you that identify with this story?

How does the trauma response turn up in your life?



Robbie Griffin

Creating a world where we connect and relate from the depths of our raw open hearts. Stand in our truth, express from our hearts, speaking the unspoken…