When connections are interrupted, we begin to feel unsafe and the body’s natural fight or flight response will take over. Suddenly survival outweighs growth. This process, if repeated, creates deeply-channeled circuitry in the human brain that, if continued long enough, will become habit and perceived personality. This new channel will completely bypass the transduction through the frontal lobe that allows us to be articulate and logical in thought. This channel that was initially meant to serve us when in real danger is now an everyday state of being for a young person. Every thought has become hotwired to the amygdala, which focuses on fear and pain avoidance.
If you were fortunate to have been given a fair start, you probably experienced many developmental milestones close to their appropriate time. A majority of children in foster care, however, do not. They do not feel safe because everything they once knew or may have shared a connection with is suddenly ripped away. They’re left with a giant void they don’t know how to fix, and emotional pain as real as a broken arm. Due to the enormous emotional pain and trauma, the brain, in an act of self-preservation, begins to debilitate its memory and learning centers to ease the pain. The child is left with real pain and scars, but even worse, with no recollection of where it came from.
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