The Flinch Reflex

I know I had my flinch reflex down pretty much by the time I was 8; though not all of it was just from dodging blows and flying objects.  Some of it was my own boyish nature; being as ticklish as a frog and twice as squirmy.  It got so bad that all someone had to do was wriggle their fingers at me (especially my brother and some of the family) that I’d fall on the floor in a paralyzed  paroxysm of giggling laughter.  Yeah; I had my fun back in them good ol’ golden days; the days between 6 and 9; or 5 and 10, depending upon the way you want to measure things.  Things changed after that – 10 1/2 or so; then even more, major change.

But that flinch reflex … I suppose everyone has one.

It includes the emotional ones – the ones when someone hurts you; or says the wrong thing.*

Sometimes that thing can be in just a single word; or a string of them.  Or a lack of them at all.  Funny how those kinds of things can stick with you so much longer than the bruise a physical blow can bring.

But the flinch reflex.

I guess I’d gotten so bad that nobody could mess with me.  And I was one of those infamous “pain eaters” – still am: pain just enrages me; however intellect brings me down.  Between the two it’s been intuited that I’m ‘not somebody to mess with’ despite my laid back and lazy kind of attitude.  And it really made me a lousy kind of sparring partner both during my martial training and later on when sparring with my daughter.  Just couldn’t stop guarding myself . . .

The same goes with emotions; that’s what Matt (and sometimes me, M3 (at the moment)) are about.  Stomping out emotions; negating them; turning them on their head and feeling a different thing.

Flinching, in other words.

Turning shame and embarrassment into joking and a sick kind of humor; or making an abusive situation into some kind of comedy joke; or even worse, growing red-faced in anger and embarrassment and harshly denying the severity of what went on.

Or just shrugging my shoulders helplessly and uttering my two most used words when discussing these things:

“Oh well.”

Flinching, in other words; ducking; manuveuring – bowing out of this thing call ‘horrendous emotions’ or ‘truly hard feelings’ amongst or between or within our own selves.

And that includes this ‘abusive account’ of ours (meaning “The Rape of Mikie”, “Groomed Child Rejected 1st Time” and “Second Time” and on in through “The Betrayal“.  (we link to these things because we need to move on; however there is another reason as well.  We must ‘open’ these things to get their address; and therefore see who  is avoiding it.  (LOL’ing, meant to type “how” not who.  Just goes to show.  Matthew is one I know … torturous and hard.)

Until we can sit down and READ it: READ those accounts … one after another as part of the linked story that they are – and really ‘do’ it good and ‘do it right’ – we’re gonna have trouble with it.  The fact we just ‘skip’ over …. that ain’t cuttin’ it.

That ‘skip’, of course, being our own ‘flinch reflex’.

I see it in other people’s lives as well: the ‘automatic anger’; the ease with which people turn towards those things: the ‘flinching’ and raising up of shields.  Anger; condemnation: so much easier than ’embracing them’ in compassion and kindness; putting things (and priorities) into proper order . . . the flinch response …

We all want some kind of control.  Whether it’s through pleasing them or fighting (flipping) them off sometimes – we want control.  It’s a given thing  It’s for survival.

But on the other hand … that hand silently twitching …. just waiting and flinching . . .

ready to strike with the other hand.

Flinch reflex.

Kinda hate that sort of thing.

Seeing the ‘flinch reflex’ in young families; seeing the ‘flinch’ reflex between old pairs…

Fathers ‘flinching’ to work; mother’s ‘flinching’ towards daycare . . . and in the evening dulling those ol’ emotions by watching some flickering TV . . .

flinching away even in the shadow light; and the light of their own fears….

and sometimes like us, flinching away from the concepts of ever finding  . . . .


(until you find only yourself standing there; empty and alone on some plain; nothing left to fear …. no one to ‘flinch’ at; no one to care . . .
. . . and still you go on flinching
because you are standing there.)


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle ( ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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