Tased, Taped and Intimidated
Acting In - Acting Out
“We will not work our way out of violence if we continue to believe that solving violence is about managing monsters.”
Danielle Sered – Until We Reckon
Acting-in means hurting ourselves by turning unhealed trauma energy in on oneself. Acting-out means hurting others by turning unhealed trauma energy onto them.
The brain orchestrates the ‘fight, flight, or freeze” response to protect and keep us safe whether we are the perpetrators or victims of physical or mental trauma. However, the memory of inflicting harm on another or receiving such harm is stored in the brain and the body.
Since this happens automatically, the cerebral cortex (thinking brain) is basically bypassed in times of intense conflict.
Sharing one’s history of inflicting harm takes guts. These stories are told after the fact, from a place of hindsight, insight, and perspective. They offer an opportunity to increase our sensitivity and understanding of the precursors to harm and its consequences for individuals and public safety. They also offer a window on hope, resilience, and healing.
“Pain that is not transformed, is transferred.” – Father Richard Rohr.