Flight, Fight, Freeze, Fawn

When the love is just not there.

In the last decade I have done a lot of research, training and working with trauma. So have many other people. At first it was my own healing that was the intention, there was a lot to do there. Coming from an affluent but half orphaned and violent home, I had many experiences I need to work through in order to find forgiveness, for myself and my father.

The problem then was that as a local Politician, business owner and employer of many, my father was almost untouchable. People simply would not believe that the charming, smiling man they met would be able to change on the turn of a dime and become this monster that would just lash out, no matter how young the child.

I have often thought of all the mitigating circumstances, the overwhelm he must have been in, I thought “no one is pure evil, there is good in everyone.” Recently I realised that was a cop out. The thought that I have that monster’s blood in my body, that my DNA is his, makes my blood run cold. I had to find a reason why he would be so incredibly violent. Something in his past for sure. Now I do not try and justify his behaviour because I can’t cope with the thought that I too could be capable of such violence. I know myself well enough now that I can rest easy, that this late in my life I am not going to start behaving like him. That was always the biggest fear.

There could have been only one of two responses for me when the beating started: either curl up and get it over with, or put your dukes (fists) up. I chose the latter.  This usually would result in more hurt but I was not ever going to let him know how much. For the longest time in my life that response dominated my behaviour. The moment I felt attacked, I would react with defense, sometimes even before I was sure it was actually an attack.

This then came across as aggression for the people I worked with, or was in relationship with, and it would make them wary of me. It is only in the last ten years that I managed to heal this wound and adjust my behaviour accordingly.

I don’t know for sure whether my fight mode stopped me from chosing a partner that would also be violent, the theory is that many abused people choose a similar situation or fall for the same character. They are looking for the strong protector only to find after a while, that the protector was an abuser. Maybe Goddess thought I had experienced enough drama in my life.


The two men I chose to share my life with are decent chaps, both live in the same house, ex-partner moved in just before Covid. Even though we got divorced 40 + years ago (I was a child bride 😊) we decided that we would stay friends, that we did not need to be in conflict, that we loved each other as soul mates just not as Beloveds. It is astounding when you chose love, how that works out. The ‘boys’ are best mates, telling each other what a hopeless wife I am. I take it with equanimity as I am the worst “conventional” wife. I don’t cook, I don’t clean, I run a business and wear the trousers… or so they let me believe. I love extended quirky families and if Covid has taught us one thing: family is super important. If there is conflict, it must be addressed and agreements must be made to keep proceedings peaceful.

I know how hard that is at times, and some people seriously resent me for saying that, but if we can not keep peace in our own family, if we can’t accept each other for who we are, if we can’t find peace in our heart for the people we share blood with, are in soul cluster with, then how can we ever hope to find peace in our communities and globally?

Peace is a learned process, it doesn’t just grow organically, it must be desired and it must be nurtured by all. A delicate sapling can then grow into a mighty tree.


So this is an interesting addition to the previous behaviour model but oh… do we not all know it so well. From your school days, from your college/university days, from work places… you find this behaviour everywhere and sadly it is what brings so much sadness into the world.

Here is the description: in order to belong, in order not to be the one a bully picks on, in order to be a part of the collective rather than stand out as a renegade, the person becomes compliant and complicit. Instead of pointing out injustice, and highlighting cruelty, eyes are closed, mouths are shut and people are flattered who should be castigated.

The Mean Girl

“Mean girl behaviour is often relational aggression, or alternative aggression, an indirect but harmful form of social bullying. Unlike physical harm, those who engage in relationship aggression want to make a person look bad to others, to bring them down or take away what the other person has.”

I swear everyone who reads this will have come across this behaviour, in these social media addicted times, it is rife. Some spiritual teachers call is the Sister Wound.

It is not new. When we modern day Priestesses ask the question, and we do: ”How did the Temples fall in ancient times?” the Sister Wound was one of the most prolific issues. Unfortunately, despite being aware of it, studying it, reading about it, being fully awake to the toxicity of it, many modern women still engage in it. It is rife here in our blessed Avalon, and certainly amongst the Spiritual Entrepreneur Priestesses, the Life Coaches, the Group Leaders.

Some of you may ask:” why only indict women for this? What about the men?”

Well, in all the years I have been on this planet, I simply have not observed that or similar behaviour in any way obvious among groups of men. If they have an issue, they either ignore it, address it or punch each other in the mouth.

Some people may feel it has to do with the response in the limbic brain, if you can’t fight them, join them. Safety in numbers when the tigers come.  There are so many examples of this behaviour, maybe even as far back as the Neolithic when we journeyed in tribes across the land. Sending a sister to Coventry, excluding her from the tribal daily connection, could not just harm her psyche but could actually kill her. One did not fare well alone in the wild.

The physical harm today may not be the major issue, these days it is the harm done to the spirit of a person when they are excluded form their peer group. Few have the strength to be autonomous, be able to cope on their own. We all need company, need to feel valued, if not validated, feel accepted and appreciated. Feel love.

For the longest time I had the hope that with Goddess in our lives, this behaviour would die out in a spiritual community. I wish I could say it is the case, but after sitting down with one of our Elder Priestesses of Avalon here this week, I found that ‘plus ca change’, nothing really has changed. It made me sad for a while. The weaker ones looking for protection from the stronger is not an issue, it is natural, it can be entirely perfect. As long as that leader is honourable, stands in their power with grace, and does not foster toxicity, strife, enmity. It is tough to be at the level where daily we model the best behaviour, where our words are spoken with unconditional love, where we try and alleviate the fear so many women hold for each other.

In my training and healings too often I hear: ”I simply do not trust women.” It devastates me each time I hear it, but I also understand it. I often advise: “Think that everyone is doing their best.” Then I have to tell myself off, because so many these days do not ‘do their best’. Covid has thrown so many back into the fear of lack consciousness, even if they are not aware of this. How do we spot the behaviour in ourself?

Speaking just for myself: if I notice my elbows coming out to knock another sister out of the way, when I get angry with people for taking what I consider mine, when I feel the fear of not being seen, not being relevant, I stop! I bring myself back into harmonious union with my Priestess Self, I acknowledge the hurt that has been dealt me, and I let it go. There is no point trying to change people’s mind about you, once it has been made up, and integrated. There is no point in shaking the fist at somebody who has stolen our inspiration because if they are either not aware of it and don’t care.

When you have been knocked down, stand up, dust yourself down, and don’t go into retaliation mode. Don’t lower yourself to the standards displayed by others. We can do better, we can forgive, we may even be able to communicate our displeasure gently and offer our mentorship, teaching someone that the ‘old ways’, the ‘old conditionings’ are not helpful for them to achieve joy, then that might be a gift they wish to accept. If they don’t, then so be it.

Live your life joyfully, be at peace, and let your heart shine for all to see.

Love is the Key.  


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