Coping Methods ~ Trying to Escape MyselfBy Darlene Ouimet
No matter which coping method issue that I look at within myself I have determined the core of it to be related to trying to leave myself. There is a disconnection from myself that I developed when I was a child; it was my way to escape and I became attached to it. Every time I examine one of those “still tangled threads” I keep coming back to this disconnection that it seems I actually seek; escaping myself. I am convinced that at least one of the reasons that I am attached to this “leaving myself” is because when I was a child, dissociation is what worked for me.
Now I have to remind myself that any form of coping method, although it may have worked at one time, is an escape from me that doesn’t work anymore.
I used to have dissociative identity disorder. I had the kind that was once called multiple personality disorder. The name of it was changed to dissociative identity disorder because lots of people leave themselves or dissociate from themselves and from their identity without actually becoming someone else or having alter personalities. Although I did have alter personalities and I did switch, I have found many similarities to others with dissociative identity disorder that were simply just “dissociated”.
Recovery for me has been about coming home to myself. It is a journey back to me and it is not an easy journey because for about 43 years I tried my hardest to get away from me; dissociating was the way that I did life. Somewhere between leaving me and coming back to me are the actual steps that I took to get the wholeness that I have today and that is what I write about.
As I take this recovery journey, I become more and more aware that the answers are within me, but when I forget that I start looking for answers outside of me. I mistakenly think that validation from others is going to help me. I think that having more friends is going to help me. I think that having the most popular blog on the internet is going to help me or losing weight and getting fit is going to help me and I chase those things for a time and come up feeling disappointed and not knowing why. I have to remember that that my validation does not come from outside of myself.
When I stay totally present it is as though I become “too aware” of myself. Life without coping methods means mega increased self awareness. When I become really aware of myself, I am subconsciously afraid that I might find out that I’m a disappointment, a failure and just plain not good enough. In the past I took on all that self blame and shame and I needed to keep dissociating because I was too scared to be me, because I thought “me” was so bad. Deep down I am afraid that with too much self awareness, all those memories about being unlovable and unworthy might come rushing up to the surface. The fear has always been rooted in being afraid to find out that the beliefs I adopted about myself as a child, the beliefs that were “taught” to me through actions, abuse, and the behaviour of others, might be true.
I have not switched personalities for several years now and I rarely dissociate the way that I used to either. I have found myself and my purpose. I live my life with passion and conviction and go after my goals with determination. I love my children and I work on my relationship with each of them and on my relationship with my husband almost daily. I love life. I love the freedom that I have found but sometimes I get going the wrong way too and I suddenly realize that I am facing something I haven’t faced before. And usually when I take a closer look I realize that I have tried to disconnect from myself again. I find myself, and then I get scared and try to leave myself, all the while trying not to admit that I am trying to get away from me again.
It is as though I believe that I can leave myself, in order to deal with myself, without having to feel anything myself. It never works, but I still try. So for me, this journey is about remembering to STAY with me and that is about self love, self acceptance, self validation and self empowerment.
“They” said it was me… But they were wrong. And I have to keep reminding myself that they were wrong, because none of this leaving myself or trying to escape awareness of myself, is conscious. It happens without thought. And so becoming more conscious is actually the goal. The more I face the fear of being present with myself, the more I realize that the fears are not real. I am afraid of lies; lies that I have spent years undoing and replacing with the truth.
I long for connection, freedom and peace but it is only in coming back to me that I find the freedom and peace that I long for and it is only in self connection that I get to keep it so that I can give it away. The good news is that the more often that I connect to myself, the more I remember that the keys to freedom are within.
And it is key for me to catch myself when I try to leave myself.
What are your thoughts about this topic? Have you ever related a coping method to escaping yourself?
Founder of Emerging from Broken.
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