Saoirse Kennedy-Hill’s life came to an abrupt end at age 22. She is the beloved daughter and granddaughter of the Kennedy family. There behind her familiar shining smile hides invisible wounds that she revealed loud and clear in an Opinion piece in The Deerfield Scroll, her school newspaper entitled “Mental Illness at Deerfield” on Feb. 3, 2016.
First, I want to make it clear that mental illness is not only mental, but also invades the body. I can hear her childhood wound speaking in the first paragraph of this piece. Saoirse has left us a lesson that we must heed.
When you were little, did you ever have friends your mom made you hang out with, even though you didn’t want to? Then those friends kept showing up, and you were confused and sick of them. Soon enough, those friends were around so much that you got used to them. Finally, those friends were always with you and never left, and you almost began to enjoy having them around … this was my relationship with my mental illness.
Many of us may have buried our childhood wounds, until they rear themselves again in another assault that freezes our mind and body. I call these incidents trauma reenactments that reopen and amplify the wound of the past. Saoirse goes on to say in the Opinion article.
Two weeks before my junior year began, however, my friend came back and planned to stay. My sense of well-being was already compromised, and I totally lost it after someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me. I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn’t happened. This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life.
When you are a child and someone violates your body, in most cases you freeze. It is part of the fight or flight response to trauma not often discussed in sexual assault, but very real. When we fall victim to predators, we freeze in our bodies including our vocal cords that freeze silencing us. Thus we are not able to flee or tell someone about the assault. We see animals that feign death when attacked by a predator, it the same response. And, it is one we need to talk about, a lot, loud and clear, because depression – mental illness – is a symptom of the freeze response continuing in the body. The mind may have buried it to survive, but the body remembers. This freeze response in the body – is the trauma posture– the shoulders round forward, the rib cage slides back and the hips/pelvis tuck inward to protect itself. That fetal stance in sends a signal of constant threat that eventually turns into depression, failure to move forward and thrive. It also subconsciously sends messages to predators that we are easy prey. I wish I could have met and helped Saoirse Kennedy-Hill and the many other girls, boys, young women and men who suffer in this frozen state of life that robs them from living. At Centripetal Force Studio, we have developed a method to reverse the freeze response in the body. We can find and heal the invisible wound in your body or your child’s body. And, this alleviates the depression, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, hypersensitivity and chronic pain and disease in the body brought on by a constant feeling of threat. If you are a parent who is a survivor of molestation, sexual assault or incest, you may pass on this freeze response to trauma to your children leaving them vulnerable to predators. I urge you to join me in sharing this information so that we can start to repair these young bodies and put a stop to these increasing deaths of despair.
Rest in Peace sweet beauty…xx6