This is a nice twist to present polyvagal theory as a circle instead of zones.
I’ll probably try to hone down on immobility/freeze response and link that to instinctive process of where unresolved trauma tends to stay stuck.
3 types of Freeze Response
- Immediate Sense Tense
- Hold Cold - Tonic Immobility
- Flop Drop - Collapsed Immobility
So maybe mindfulness and CALM pointers are trying to build the muscle of Sense Tense?? I’m guessing that’s part of our innate orienting/exploration seeking mechanism.
Also, the pointers of No Contact & Grey Rock might be Freeze response strategies, and if your Sense Tense muscle is weak, then you fall into Hold/Cold or Flop/Drop nervous system over-rides.
So a stronger foundation in being grounded and solid with your Sense Tense freeze response, allows you to be adaptive and responsive to change.
My guess is that a major challenge with codependents is there’s major trauma in the immobilized freeze parts of the body. When that gets activated, dissociation starts and it’s either daydream or intellectualizing. Getting too close to those memories, ends up reliving them or it’s just raw helplessness. So that might be the source of ‘terror of negative emotions’. So falling into competitive victimhood where they can blame and hate on narcissists and all their past abusers, feels more empowering to stay in fight/flight mode vs feeling immobilized and helpless. But when they sleep, or when they’re tired, and their guard drops, it’s easy to fall into deep depression, getting flooded by stuck on immobilized/fear response
Gotta finish the cycle, release that pent up trauma energy, go back into arousal and back to baseline… that’s the longer term path of freedom. But few therapists or peers are able to stay with and hold neutral space for visiting raw intense helpless trauma energy, and then help guide back through arousal and integration to get back to baseline.