Two days after my son was born, my husband was making lunch before our NICU visit. He asked me what I wanted.
"I don't know."
He gave me some options of things I might like.
"I don't know!"
He even narrowed down the options. But I still had no idea and I was getting frustrated. It was such a simple choice that had zero consequences if I chose the wrong one, other than I'd eat something I didn't like. No big deal. Given the heavy, potentially life-threatening decisions we'd made throughout my pregnancy, this was so easy and so inconsequential.
But I just could not do it. Every time I tried to choose, it felt like brain overheated & completely shut off.
Decision-making when your arousal system is on
I was in fight or flight mode. My body was under stress from walking after being immobile for more than 15 days on bed rest. I was grieving the end of my pregnancy in the second trimester. I was terrified my son wouldn't survive.
Decision-making was not a priority for my brain at that time. It made sense. What didn't make sense to my client last year was why she still couldn't make decisions 3 years after her preemie was born. He was happy, healthy, growing well and had minimal effects of his early arrival.
Still, she said, "I'm the most indecisive person on the planet. I take hours to choose anything & most of the time I just want someone to do it for me so I don't have to."
She said this about ordering at a restaurant, picking a time for a play date or even choosing clothes other than her "mom uniform". When I reflected to her that, she was still in survival mode (even 3 years out) it clicked. Suddenly everything made sense to her.
We have this false belief that when baby comes home, and life calms down, our arousal system turns off on its own. That does not happen. The arousal system (AKA the stress response) deactivates only when we release that trauma from our body. Until then, it will stay on.
And when we carry unresolved trauma with us, our body's ONLY goal is to find and maintain safety. Above digestion. Above hunger. Above wound healing. Above decision-making.
When our arousal system is on, our brains do not have the capacity for choices. In fact, as a fail-safe, our brain actually redirects energy from the decision-making part of our brain to the parts that are required for survival.
It is ONLY in resolving that trauma can those parts of our brain come back online. I share all of this to show you that you're not indecisive. You're not flaky, unreliable, or being difficult. This is trauma.
Become decisive again
This is why I created The Whole Story program. After fertility, pregnancy and birth trauma, the lingering effects reach far and wide. But that does not have to be for the rest of your life. In releasing this trauma in a gentle, powerful way, you can reclaim your health, your life, and your ability to make choices from a clear head.
Join The Whole Story program to find the relief you've been searching for! Can't wait to see you on the inside!