poking through the dissociation from self

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wingspan

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poking through the dissociation from self
« on: January 26, 2020, 04:52:07 PM »
I'm writing this to document this event for myself (in as many places as I can, also my journal), because it feels so - important.

I've struggled with dissociation (depersonalization) as long as I can remember, even when I didn't have the terminology for it. It was my go-to coping mechanism - I emotionally abandoned my self, so I didn't have to feel the emotional abandonment by my uNP mother (and absence of (support from) my father).

I've done intensive therapy twice in the past, both times the therapist missed addressing my descriptions of symptoms of dissociation - one explained it as "a seeking of god" and the other used holotropic breathing / re-birthing in an attempt to recover forgotten memories, which in hindsight worsened the dissociation. 

10 years ago, a psychological assessment confirmed the experiences as dissociation, but at the time I didn't know yet why (and on some level I just took it as another thing that was wrong with me and that I needed to fix about myself). It took another decade before I put all the pieces together about how my experiences as a child / youth led to this coping mechanism (and how it was hurting my life now).

Since the holidays (...stuff happened...), the fog has rapidly been lifting and I've been experiencing a new clarity. I'm becoming accepting of my anxiety (which allows me to help myself, rather than beat myself up over it), and how if I don't tend to it, it will lead to dissociation. I'm also becoming accepting of my other C-PTSD symptoms, including a crippling "need" for perfectionism and constant worrying and over-analyzing others. I'm learning to be mindful, of how I'm doing, how I'm feeling, defending against the inner critic, and taking time to be calm and connected and able to be with myself.

Until yesterday, that all was good, but it was something my adult self was doing.

I was writing in my journal, where I keep a photo of me as a child. I'm about 3yrs old, and sitting in a circle in a kindergarten / playgroup. My FOO travelled a lot when I was younger, and so this was not a place I attended on a regular basis. I'm sitting with my legs stretched out in front of me, my hands underneath my thighs, feet tipped inwards, and I have the most saddest look on my face. This child looks like she feels completely alone, although surrounded by other kids. I don't know why I look like this in that moment, but I DO KNOW the sadness - and that it was not just an unfortunate snapshot, but that this photo captures the deep feeling of loneliness and emotional abandonment that permeated my childhood and youth.

So yesterday, for what feels like for the first time, I truly felt compassion not only for this child "from the outside", but for me when I was that child. I was touched by my own hurt and able to be there for me, in that moment. I wanted to reach through time and hold myself, protect myself.

Something opened and shifted.

I feel like I poked through the dissociation and actually met my self. That child and I are the same person. That child and I deserve to be taken care of, defended against any further hurt from the PD toxicity that exists in my FOO. It's like my priorities just shifted, away from them and towards me. Whatever I will do going forward, is FOR me, and no longer against them - because that is just another way of feeding them. Going forward, I come first. I as a whole person.

 

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: poking through the dissociation from self
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 11:15:07 AM »
What a break through and so happy for you!

"reach through time and hold myself, protect myself"
Have you ever heard of doing a visual exercise and doing just that? It helped me lots.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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athene1399

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Re: poking through the dissociation from self
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2020, 11:19:52 AM »
What a powerful post and description of how you reached your inner child. Thank you for sharing. :)

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Hazy111

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Re: poking through the dissociation from self
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2020, 01:32:02 PM »
Very good powerful post. I could relate entirely . I wasnt aware of my own dissociation (as a defense) until it was pointed out to  me by a therapist.

I remember when i was child, there was a photo of my "sister" as a young girl standing all alone in front of a wood. I always got upset looking at it. I would cry. She was alone, lost , abandoned, no one  to help her.    It was me.

It was sometimes pointed out to me when i was a young child by adults that i had a frown on my face. Wonder why?