For those who work in trauma, the concept of repetition compulsion — or the tendency to recreate traumatic experiences that are similar to the original trauma — is nothing new. However, foreigners to the world of trauma can often shake their heads at the seemingly bazaar habit of those around them to “keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.”
From the inside, it make perfect sense. Your brain is simply trying to maintain what is now normal — that is operating in trauma mode, complete with elevated epinephrine, norepinephrine, and lowered serotonin. Yet, it is understandable that this behavior can defy logic, and put those immersed in it at odds with friends. The good news is that trauma specialists are well equipped to manage this reaction to overwhelming and terrifying circumstances. The not so good news is that those who’ve had trauma can unknowingly recreate it in their lives through their many relationships — even those with horses.