My reptilian brain

English: Artist interpretation of reptilian al...

English: Artist interpretation of reptilian alien. Human is shown for relative size. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Widows! You know that shame you feel when, even fleetingly, you have the desire to sleep with another man? The postman, the bus-driver, that bloke sitting opposite you right now – anyone will do.

You don’t want a relationship, or love, or even respect particularly, you just want to look up at a stubbly face from the vantage of a hairy (perhaps tattooed) chest and take in the warmth, the *smell, the closeness that has been missing from your life for sixteen long months. (*debateable).

In short, you want to engage in arguably one of the most life-affirming acts in order to feel…alive.

Perhaps, like me, you have already succumbed to the desire, and are currently listening to the sound of self-loathing and insatiable lust tussling with one another in your brain.

Well I wanted to share something I heard today in my counselling session which reassured me that my behaviour wasn’t as deviant as I’d imagined.

It turns out this is a well-documented phenomenon. Yes, other widows are doing it!

Faced with trauma and loss on this scale, humans refer to their reptilian brain, (I wasn’t even aware we HAD one!) and the familiar three ‘Fs’ of survival – Fight, Flight or Freeze – become four. I’ll leave you to ponder what the final one could be.

Psycho-babble or not, it sure as hell made me feel better.

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