Sep
27

Re-Parenting, Dissociation and the Desire to Escape

By

Dissociative Identity, escape

As many of you know, I’ve recovered from dissociative identity disorder and I find it to be a strange feeling to be aware of wanting to dissociate, when for so many years, it was habitual ~ I just did it. Continuing with some of the conversation from the last post, see “Dissociative Identity ~ the solution became the problem” ~ sometimes I still get this overwhelming feeling like I want to get out of my own skin. And sometimes when I get that anxious feeling I actually wish I could dissociate the way that I used to. I have come to realize that this “wish” is about the desire to escape.

When I was a child I HAD to dissociate because I had no other way to cope and coping was not just about dealing with trauma or abuse. It was also the only way to escape the feelings of being nothing and being of no value, the fear of what might happen next, the confusion of not being protected, not being understood and not even being listened to. No one helped me to deal with stuff so I had to do something. I was forced to dissociate and disconnect because I had to. It was an effective coping method for me and eventually it became effective as a way of escaping everything. I would dissociate in all situations. I am not sure what I did a lot of the times when I was dissociative, I lost a lot of time and I have some vague memories of a fantasy life and there were alter personalities, but wherever I was,  it was how I dealt with things, it was my coping method and it was my escape.  

As an adult I had to learn a new way because that old way was keeping me back in my childhood of unresolved fears and emotional damage.  

When I talk about re-parenting myself, I am referring to being there for myself emotionally, the way that no one was there for me when I was a kid. When I feel like running, escaping or using a coping method like eating when I am not hungry in order to deal with (which is actually NOT dealing with) the emotions that are coming up in me it is because I want to escape those feelings, and because I never had help to deal with them ~ I learned to check out ~ in a manner of speaking.

Re-parenting is about being there for me when I want to leave me because of the old familiar feeling that I am alone anyway and I am not safe, so I think I need to escape.  

Here is what I wrote in my journal about the anxiety I was experiencing a few days ago because I have been working on taking better care of my physical health;

“I feel discouraged that I have the same old struggle going on in me ~ that I am not really making me a priority again.  I don’t “feel” like taking care of myself. I am tired, I don’t want to do treadmill, I don’t want to cut veggies, I don’t want to stay active and be responsible for my physical health and I don’t want to write about it here. I just want to pretend that I’m fine and put off thinking about my health and self care. I want to eat junk food if I feel like it. I will take care of myself… tomorrow.”  

Sometimes I just can’t, don’t want to, or I just won’t stay present with myself. And I hate this feeling ~ it feels like failure and that is what makes me want to turn away from myself and my thoughts and ignore it but it is always there. The biggest problem is that I tell myself that I deserve to escape.

 I deserve escape? To tell myself that I deserve to escape those feelings is like giving myself permission to self harm. Escape is not the really productive or healthy. This is something that I need to be aware of, almost every minute of the day because of the pain that I cause myself when I do choose escape, and because escape causes more pain in the end and it makes me feel bad about myself, actually separate from myself and be angry with myself; which is what living through abuse taught me to do.

Being aware of dialogue with myself; ~ sometimes I ask myself what is wrong. And in my mind’s eye I see myself shake the question off and forcefully say to myself  “just leave me alone ~ haven’t I been through enough? I don’t FEEL like DEALING with this right now”… and when I go a little deeper with those thoughts I hear myself think  “I deserve to be able to put it off. I deserve to live in escape and to be able to escape.” What I had to realize is that in escaping, I am separating from myself. I’m doing to myself what was done to me ~I am discounting my needs and my feelings. I am leaving myself ~ emotionally abandoning myself the way that I was emotionally abandoned as a child. It is what I am used to; it is what I was taught to do.

I got stuck there for a long time in adulthood. The answer was logical enough, but I didn’t really see it while I was escaping and dissociating and finding ways to run from the problem. I had to learn how to do something different. I had to learn not to leave myself, to stay present with myself and this is something I strive to do more each day.  The more that I am aware of the desire to escape, the easier it is to decide not to escape.  

And the truth is that I don’t NEED to escape anymore because I am not in danger anymore. I do not need to disconnect and dissociate by separating from myself, my thoughts and feelings. The leftover fears are not valid anymore. That coping method is no longer necessary for my survival the way that it was when I was a child. I am still in the tweaking and strengthening stages of this part of my self growth, but as I learn to love, value and support myself emotionally, the less I seek any form of escape.

Please share how you relate to or struggle with the concepts of re-parenting, dissociating and the desire to escape.

Still on the journey!

Darlene Ouimet

You might also like to read the related guest post by Susan Smith ~  Turning Points and Emotional Healing

Announcement:

Therapist John Wilson from Onine Events presents ~ Emerging From Broken – Interview with Darlene Ouimet on Sunday Nov.03 at 12:00 Noon Pacific, 3:00 pm EST and 1:00 pm mountain time. Please visit the following link in order to reserve your ticket. Click on the first box ~ there is no charge for the live event. Hope to “see” you there.  http://emergingfrombroken.eventbrite.com/

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness

46 Comments

1

One day….one day we too will be free and we will not have to escape the years of fears that have built up among us….one day 🙂

2

this really makes sense to me, though i know that i have drifted off, there are many times i dont realise it til i jolt back. i am trying to control my wanderings, and though i realise when looking back why i do it im still struggle with probing further or deeper. the fear of what is left is stronger and knowing i will survive it, is not quite enough yet.
darlene everytime you post, it has a bell jingling through my mind. memories bounce out at me and i calm them by posting on here. knowing how to do something is not always enough, and not knowing the whys or wherefores makes me feel stupid emotionally. it hard because my head gets that what happened because of events outside of my control, yet in my inner, it is numb. dead calm. amd i dont know why i feel like this. infact it feels like the lull before the storm. i hate this feeling of being torn by my interlect and emotional growth, as they are at such different levels.
then i look back at what i have typed, and then post what i have written without change. i do this because that way it is my inner writing aswel as the outer.depending who is more in control as to what appears sometimes, even now.
not givin up though

3

Good article Darlene! I just commented about this experience earlier on a different facebook page. Here is what I wrote:

I had to learn to pay attention to myself. To listen and hear what my emotions were trying to tell me. I called it – “parenting my inner child.” As a mother of three grown children, I learned how to be available to them and to coach them… in a sense when they were going through something. When I realized that I could do that with myself, my “inner-child” began to find the freedom to let go of perspectives and fears that had been locked inside from childhood. It played out something like this. One time, when my husband got short with me – he was in a hurry and I was in the way, (although he had never hurt me physically) I froze up and became suddenly angry and fearful. As I was learning to recognize and pay attention to my neglected emotions, I stopped and asked myself “Why am I so afraid?” and I realized that it was not my husband’s actions so much that affected me, but they were a trigger for something else. At the moment I felt like a child and I then asked myself “how old do I feel?” I felt like I did when I was about eight. As my dad had alot of anger issues at the time – I realized that my husband’s shortness triggered a childhood memory and I did not have to carry that fear into my adulthood and especially into my relationship with my husband. Knowing (as an adult and by experience) that my husband has never hurt me – “I” was then able to say to my child-heart: “It’s okay, you don’t have to be afraid – you’re safe.” And my little girl needs got met by me, allowing her to feel safe to grow up and move emotionally beyond that stuck experience. If that makes sense.”

This was a very liberating time for me. You’re article confirms this as well. I love how God works to heal His little girls!

4

UnEk_DiMoN
You know what? This is an awesome comment! This is exactly what I decided to, and then it happened! I am really excited for you and thanks for making my day! Striving to live without the bondage of the past is SO worth it!
Love Darlene

Carol,
I still feel like this once in a while! Even more than once in a while! The awareness that you have is really the biggest part of it and It is the leftover fear; fear of the unknown and it lives deep down in that belief system which takes time to change. This is just part of the dang process!! Just remember that freedom is on the other side!

I’m SO glad you are posting and so glad to hear that you are not giving up Carol!

5

wow Darlene, this hits so close to home for me. I find myself running a lot, without even realizing it sometimes. After I have started “running” from myself I am frustrated with myself and want to run even farther. I hate the way that I am sometimes and the person I have become because of everything that has happened to me. I get sick and tired of the struggle I have to deal with every single day of my life. I hate everything being hard and a struggle for me. I hate guessing what everyone’s motive with me is and never being able to fully trust someone. I remember specifically one time when I was a teenager waking up one Saturday morning and being scared out of my mind. i felt like I needed to leave, I needed to get out of myself. I needed to run and get away from where I was. It was one of the strangest feelings that i have ever had. It’s hard to even really explain. I remember jumping out of bed and running out of the house, down the street and around the corner. I ran as fast as I could. I had no idea where I was going, I had no where to go. I was scared out of my mind. The more I ran and the faster I ran the worse the feeling got. I wanted away from something, I don’t even think I knew what I wanted to get away from, but I knew I needed to. I remember finally stopping, my heart was going crazy, I was completely out of breath and I just started crying uncontrollably. I don’t remember what I did after that. As I got older, I would turn to cutting to “help” me “deal” with the things that I felt, or I wouldn’t eat at all. When I graduated from high school, I was out 100lbs and a size 0.
Reparenting, I’m not really sure how to do that. I don’t know how to parent, much less reparent. Any ideas on how to do this?

6

Hi Belinda!
This makes PERFECT sense! I am so glad that you came over from Facebook to post it over here too!!
This is very much what I learned to do, and I am still learning how to do even more. Talking to myself this way has been the process of being the parent to myself that I didn’t have and healing some of those hurts that I brought with me into adulthood too.
Thanks so much for posting!!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rebekah
I hear what you are saying Rebekah. I felt that same way too. It seemed like I felt even more uncomfortable with myself when I became more aware of things.. and I guess that makes sense because if we were comfortable with ourselves, why would we want to run? I used many methods to run, to escape and none of them worked beyond the moment. They were all faulty coping methods.
Re-parenting is about listening to yourself, paying attention to the needs that you have, the feelings the fears, and like a loving parent would do for a child ~ sooth yourself. Hear yourself, find out where the fear comes from, ask yourself questions without any negative reactions towards yourself (don’t say stuff like “Oh you are so stupid”.. that is not loving) and when you get the clues about where or what the fears are, or about what you want to escape, reassure yourself. It takes some practice, and some time.. I used a journal (still do) but one mystery solved unlocks another door to another mystery and eventually this is how I figured out my false belief system and set it straight.
keep striving, keep sharing,
Love Darlene

7

I hear what you’re saying here hon. Dissociating is for you a drug, just like meth of crack or heroin. Another form of escape. At this point in my healing process I ammbuilding myself and I actually really value the dissociation at times. It gives me a bit of a rest. It’s a kind of a partial thing however. I don’t completely go away any co
Pletely. It’s kinda like I’m collecting information about the hundred little bits of me. I’m co-conscious really. Were I to deny the dissociation completely I’d miss out on alot of what I was.

8

As I am still learning, parts can stay hidden for years. So until they heal, their coping mechanism is still dissociating, although the preference is co-consciousness. We may not be able to entirely control that aspect of escaping intentionally/subconsciouslly until all inside have been revealed and have learned the new coping mechanisms.

As far as re-parenting, this was such a tough issue for clients and one I resisted for a long time. It was a feeling of being entitled to loving parents and I shouldn’t have to do it myself. But I also learned protectors were like loving parent or sibling figures and were happy to hold me inside if I felt I needed to be held to feel safe. FWIW, I did find caring for/loving a stuffed animal or doll that represents the self translates internally as well. Soothing the doll with kind words is like kind self talk. I found it made self parenting seem less daunting. Had a client dub her doll “mini me”. 🙂

9

Hi Darlene.

Dissassociation, this is what our brains do, what we do to protect our inner core, the part of us that is truly us, from the horror of what was happening to us, when it was happening. I always had one memory of floating above the ceiling looking down on what was occurring and never understood it or the reasons for it, until I told my doctor about it. I explain it, as they can have my body, but they cannot have me. But it was and is the way we escape the feelings isn’t it, the horror of what is unfolding, and there is a mighty disconnect when we were kids and for many of us, as adults.

Just over two months ago our mother was dying. I had tried a few times to establish a relationship of sorts with her and was unsuccessful. She was too old and too ill; her mind set the same as always, a closed one to what had happened to me and it’s affect upon me; it was all just too big. I didn’t know at the time that she was so ill.

I had a dream in the week before she died. In the dream I found out that she would never be the parent that I wanted. That it was up to me to be that parent, to undo the damage that had been done to me by the things that she used to say to me etc.

That I could be that parent now and do it well and repair, re-shape, the harm that was done to me. That I and I alone, could be the parent that the little girl in me, so still desired. I found out after having that dream, that our mother was very ill. Having that dream then, I believe, allowed me to accept our Mother’s death a lot faster than I would have, if I hadn’t had it; without too much sadness.

Funny, strange, weird how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

10

Really great insight for me, who is just beginning the journey. Thank you!

11

Hi Splinty,
Yes I guess in a way that dissociating is like a drug, but only in the way that I believe that any destructive coping methods are a bit like drugs. But I am not saying that dissociation for me is a drug exactly. I see it in three parts. There is dissociative identity disorder, where there are alters. I no longer do that and I don’t have alters anymore. There is normal dissociation like when playing music or watching a movie |~ the “going in the zone” type of dissociation which I am not concerned with, and there is dissociating in an unhealthy way, such as binge eating or starving, cutting, overuse of drinking and drugs, having sex with strangers… but without switching personalities. At the same time I relate to what you are saying too; there are different seasons in recovery and there is no way to sum it up for everyone nor is there any one way to get through this stuff!
Thanks for sharing your journey,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Maggie,
I am not sure what you are saying, but the way that I read it my process was a bit different then this; the parts had fragmented, yes, and they became the alters, however in healing each part was part of me, and I didn’t need to heal each individual part. I did look at the memories of most, but when I looked at it from the angle of the belief system, that is where I found the commonality and it cut some of the confusion of trying to work with each individual alter. So each one “inside” did not have to learn the new coping mechanisms ~ I learned them and we all came together. I know this is not a common story in the professional world, but this is how it worked for me.

I totally hear you on the loving parents issue.!! Thanks for bringing up this important issue. I hear that a lot too and I felt it a lot. I didn’t think I should have to do it myself either, I felt ripped off. But that didn’t change a thing! LOL Thanks for sharing these other ideas too, this is such great information for everyone!
Thanks for being here Maggie, you bring so much to the table!
Hugs, Darlene

12

Katherine,
Yes, this is very much how I see it. It is what my brain did to protect myself. My inner core, the real me. This is a great story, very inspiration and insightful. I had a lot of dreams that assisted me too ~ I developed a healthy respect for the dream world, and what goes on in the mind while we sleep and how much it helped me to go forward at times.
You describe what I am trying to describe ~ how I learned to re-parent. Thanks so much for expanding on this post in this way.
I am really glad you are here,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Shaula,
Welcome to the blog, I hope you like what you find here and hope you visit and share often.
Hugs, Darlene

13

Every single one of the comments here is profound and I’ve read and re-read them.Ths is an incredible blog post.

I have been frozen the last SEVERAL years.I suppose some would call it learned helplessness and hopelessness, but I also know its about an internal struggle that has its own agenda.I’ve beat myself up calling myself ‘lazy’ but it been some kind of fear.

I learned growing up I was not to surpass my mother or try to be her equal- ever.I don’t have memories of why it was so dangerous to do so but I recall the feelings.It wasn’t safe to trust my dad and his rage. My mom was my parent that ‘protected’ us but she was stern and indifferent in many ways to her children’s feelings.We also learned to play by her rules, and one of them was you never ever crossed her. She was the smartest, the best, the strongest….I saw my dad self destruct and she helped him along the way to do this. I looked so much like my dad, and she often remarked on this. After his suicide I did some cutting- the first in my life. She called a family friend- a preacher- to come over and talk to me.She later told me he said I was the most self destructive person he had ever met. I now do not believe he said that. Even if he had, why would she tell me something as ‘loaded’ and suggestive as that at such a time?

She was angry at me anyway as she had been having my dad followed by a detective so that she could get proof he was being unfaithful. She told us kids and said we were not to tell him.He was already a wreck, about to lose his job, addicted to alcohol, and I was afraid for him, but I did not tell. I told my sister and my brother in law called my dad right up and told him. My mother literally would not talk to me for days.She was ‘done’ with me because of my ‘disloyalty’.
Within 3 weeks he had suicided.She told everyone she had been in fear of her life but she kept coming home each evening. He was so befuddled at that point in his life and very very despondent.

I really really ran at that point. On some level i was terrified of my mother. I was afraid that she could make me destroy myself. i realize this was irrational, but I would get very nervous if I had to spend time around her.

I moved out- I was 19- and never lived with her again until years later after my daughter’s dad dumped us.By then I had thought that I had just been silly and overreacting years before.

I see that I just literally froze inside and became compliant in many ways to my mother when We moved in.I never wanted to anger her again because I was afraid of her.Alot of this was unconscious.Everytime I tried to be independent, something bad happened after my daughter and i moved in. my daughter was molested,I had family friends interfere with us, church people, I was stalked by my mother’s male friend…I zoned out alot maybe trying to appear passive and compliant. Looking back I see myself as trying to edge out of mom’s reach but not telling her. This was just so weird. When she got sick I was her caregiver until she died.

After she died I froze for over a year emotionally.

I loved her, i wanted to be wrong about her, I felt pity for her, I also think she was a very odd person. I
never was able to figure her out. She confused my all my life. I remember thinking I would rather be just ‘crazy’ than to believe bad things about her. This was from a child’s perspective.

I think I will never figure out what all went on. My brother suicided years ago at 19.He had terrible anxieties as a child.

I have learned to let fear run its course. I have learned to be more kind to myself. I run from anxiety provoking situations and this has become habitual and has caused alot of damage to my life. It has crippled me. But I take one day at a time. This blog is awsome.

14

Loving oneself is the greatest thing we can do in our own lives. Those who doesn’t know how to love them cant love others. Personally I am realizing this. I think the root of mental health lies in our inability to appreciate, love and care ourselves

15

Hi Elizabeth,
I can relate to what you describe as emotional frozenness; I called myself lazy for years too, that is what I thought it was, but really what it was was that I was too scared to move. I had become so scared of doing the “wrong thing” or saying the wrong thing or being the wrong thing that I just didn’t do anything much. It wasn’t just my mother with me either, it had become about almost everyone I was around. I just couldn’t function anymore and I had lost my identity. I had been trying to be what everyone else wanted for so long (because that is what my survival mode looked like) that I’d lost me. This journey has had a lot to do with recovering my own identity.
Thank you for the depth that you share here. I appreciate the contribution that you make.
Hugs, Darlene

Amit,
Welcome to this blog,
I think that loving ourselves is a very key part of recovery, but for most of us is is something we were not taught to do and so we must learn. For me, learning to love myself continues to be one of the great keys!
Hugs, Darlene

16

I dissociate with everything. I find it much easier to just go away in my own little world until all of my unwanted feelings pass. I had to do this as a child almost hourly to avoid the feelings I had from my parents abuse. I was brought to the brinks of death many times and dissociating was the only reason I am still here mentally. Now it has become a nasty habit and very hard to stop. For re-parenting…hmmm this is something I am clueless on. When I get up set or an urge to run and hide I try to slow down and listen to what is going on inside of me and what I need but a lot of times my body takes over and i am back in la la land and usually dont remember much of anything. Sigh! Something that is going to take a lot of work to overcome. If I would have had parents that met my needs I wouldnt have to try and come up with solutions on my own. This is so hard 🙁

17

Hi Nicole,
You bring up a very valid point here. Your last sentence “If I would have had parents that met my needs I wouldn’t have to try and come up with solutions on my own” ~This was brought up on another one of my blog posts recently too. That is a major stick point that most of us have! It is part of the feeling of being “ripped off” that our childhoods were ripped off, that we should not HAVE to do this for ourselves.. I AGREE. However, I also found out that feeling that way didn’t get me any closer to the freedom that I longed for… so back to the looking for solutions part! Nicole, I say this with a smile, and not to discourage you, but to encourage you! It is so dang hard! BUT it is doable! You are amazing and thank you so much for your contributions here and for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

18

thanks for your support darlene,
im sure the fact that i dont feel so alone and have access to others who have been thro or are going thro similar issues has helped me grow mentally quite alot this summer. i wont give in ever, i will get over my past and have a proper future and nothing but myself will stop me. that gets hard for those around me, but sorry i have to be alittle selfish now to be more generous later. wish i knew how to handle this numbness/ silence, it not something i am used too and feels more like a barrier than actual calmness, oh wel im sure it will resolve itself sooner or later

19

Carol, you are an inspiration!
This is such a great attitude, and I know it will take you far! I made that same decision to fight for my wholeness, to have a proper future as you say, and I fought hard, and it paid off! Don’t worry about the numbness etc.. because as you say, so many of these things have a way of working themselves out. All part of the process. Keep going and keep striving to move forward… I know you are!
Hugs, Darlene

20

You know Darlene, it’s almost as if we are stuck at that age when we were first abused. Seems like no matter how hard I try to be all grown up I find my self retreating back to that child and her little fantasy world. The funny thing is it’s not safe there either. Seems like my mind has no where to run. Reality as an adult is so hard at times and then to try to think of when you were a child and find good memories or fun times you realize there aren’t any. Sigh! :/ Good post Darlene ((hugs))

21

Totally relate 2 this …….. just trying 2 work out how 2 actually put it in2 practice :/

22

Nicole,
I have thought about this point myself… my therapist began with the first trauma event that I had a memory of. And that is the exact age that I did most of my re-parenting at. I think that it is huge growth when we realize that the fantasy world is not safe either… that actually no escape really is a better place to be.
Interesting Nicole… Great comment!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jean,
First we relate, then we figure out how to put it in to practice.. you are right on track!!
Hugs, Darlene

23

thank you for your praise darlene, even if i dont quite feel ready to believe that totally yet. before the summer i wouldnt have accepted it at all so yeah i am growin and little things like accepting feedback, of either sort, is just another process i am figuring out (slowly but getting there). i think all this head growth will help me cope better with the heart stuff as long as i dont hide behind the reason it happened and deal with what happened, hopefully my waitin list time will be shortish, but it gives me time to store up awareness n new thought patterns to practise whilst im waiting.
i keep saying thank you. but it more than thanks it is a life line to a new age of thinking

24

Hiya Darlene,
I wish I could dissociate from my dissociations. I guess switching would
be considered to be dissociating. Problem is I’ve been co-conscious for what’s been happening the last 24 hours. I either want it to stop or not be aware of it. Things have been bad.

I’ve worked on the re-parenting before and the times I’ve done it last have gone well. Right now isn’t a good time to do that.

I’m thnking my post today might be imappropriate. If so, please accept my apologies and feel
free to delete it.

25

Carol,
I am honored to be a part of your journey, you inspire me to keep going on my own journey!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi IAmEchad
Yes, switching would be considered to be dissociating ~ I am sorry that you are struggling right now. I understand those days. Your post isn’t inappropriate at all; I am sure that others will be encouraged just by you admitting that you’re having a bad day! (sometimes it is hard to admit!)
Sending you hugs!
Darlene

26

Thanks Darlene for your tremendous support. From reading all of the comments here, all of the input from everyone, it is obvious that your knowledge, your experience and this site helps people A lot; especially knowing on sites, pages like this that that we can find the support and the understanding which many of us never ever had before.

Amit, I am with you on the self love. It is about loving ourselves, something that was not permitted in my childhood, for a hole host of reasons. It took me years to actually look at myself in a mirror, to actually look at myself and like or even love the person I saw reflected back; to comprehend that I was lovable, worth loving. I was too scared to look at myself, cause I had horrible memories of what happened if I was caught looking at myself when I was a child.

I do look at her now and I talk to her (Me) often and I smile at her a lot and she always smiles back.

Hugs to you all from me over here in Queensland Australia.

27

Addit: I am aware that I could spend all day looking in the mirror if I so chose, and never leave the bathroom; that I could become quite narcisstic, so I make sure that I take the time just once a day and look at myself in that mirror for a while and tell myself that I am an OK person and then I smile, Big time. 🙂

28

Speaking of mirrors, does anyone ever look in the mirror and see someone else?

29

Wow Darlene….

Your blogs are a godsend. You can put into words what is still too foggy for me.

What an empowering last paragraph. Those ingrained patterns are there do to survival in the past. But I am safe now. I can parent myself, and learn to express my needs in a healthful way with those I love.

These lines too: “…in escaping, I am separating from myself. I’m doing to myself what was done to me ~I am discounting my needs and my feelings. I am leaving myself ~ emotionally abandoning myself the way that I was emotionally abandoned as a child.”

Thank you again!
~carol welch

30

This is the big one: zoning out, losing time, losing days, weeks, years…I don’t mean total memory blocks, but living in the hazy, half here, and ‘don’t really want to be here’ kind of thing. I can so identify Darlene with what you said in your mind : ‘I deserve some timeafter whats happened. I’m tired etc etc. That kind of living and feeling. I so often just wanted time to pass, because I was so miserable – I see I did abandon myself, I just kind of mentally drifted for a long time. A LONG time.

I felt powerless because I was acting powerless and vice versa.I am aghast at what I did to myself right on the heels of my abuse.But I never knew I was doing this. I thought I was toughing it out.

I made choices I thought were the best and the least dangerous for me at the time in my circumstance but in the long run I should have been planning for the long term future. But I could barely see into next week.I was just surviving.I wasted years this way, but its never too late to begin to live again.

Keep writing these things Darlene.I’m getting it. You and Susan and Kim rock!

31

Darlene, The biggest time I disassociate is when I am being intimate with my partner. I leave my body until it is over. I know it is from things that happened in my childhood and dont know how to get past it. I just want to enjoy things in my life like a “normal” person.

32

Hold fast ……… am sooooooo glad u said that 2 ……… this is one of my biggest issues ………. a huge part of me wants permission NEVER to have to be intimate EVER again

33

Hi Carol,
(for the readers, we have more than one Carol in this thread)
This was such a huge part of my recovery.. first realizing that I can do this for myself now, and then learning how to do it. Realizing that I was actually repeating what happened to me every time that I disconnected that I discounted myself or ignored my feelings, was a big eye opener for me. It is still a process to become self aware all the time, but I find that the safer I feel with my own self awareness, the easier it is.
Thanks for being here Carol,
Hugs, Darlene

Elizabeth,
One of the things that I found helpful was that once I realize that deep down I felt like I deserved to escape then I also had to become aware of how often I gave myself heck for not being able to stay present all the time.. Like I would suddenly realize that I had drifted off… or gone on an eating spree.. and then give myself heck for a few hours because I “should know better now”. All of that stuff was part of the sorting out process. The survival system goes so deep that it is like our minds will do anything to distract ourselves from staying in reality. Hang in there ~ it is never too late !! Hang on to that thought!
Hugs, Darlene

Hold Fast,
This is really common and from what I understand, for many it is often the last area where healing takes place. I understand your desire to be “normal” and have a normal life, that was my biggest driving factor too, but there was a lot of layers of stuff for me to get through on the way there. That was one of the last areas that I looked at. (I can only share my own experience)
Thanks for this comment, this is a really big area,
Hugs, Darlene

Jean,
Something that I considered, in fact I screamed it at my husband and my therapist in joint therapy one time ~ is that I have the right to decide if I want to be intimate or not. PERIOD ~ end of story. (my therapist cheered me on!) I felt horrible for saying it, but I realized that it was true. I had all these beliefs that I HAD to be intimate, but why did I feel that way? Where did that belief come from? These are things that I looked at in the process. I gave myself permission to heal and that was the most important thing for me to do for myself and for my marriage too.
Just something to think about..
Hugs, Darlene

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Thanks Darlene.

You dig so deep…it’s always amazing to hear about what you have found. I can completely relate to the feeling of being in that “spot” again. I have that dreaded feeling sometimes of having not moved forward much in my healing. I feel like I am just beginning to scratch on the surface of the problem and am afraid sometimes that I will never come to the end of it….I feel like an addict sometimes..
powerless…I know in my mind that I can do whatever it is I put my mind to but sometimes I just don’t want to do the work….I have so many emotions that come up in the struggle…..I used to dissociate often….I have slowed down but I still want to escape sometimes…it just seems like life is too much to handle at times…but I have made it this far. I truly know I am not alone here, it just hurts that as a precious little person I wasn’t heard and loved….the thing that keeps me going is the thought that the healthier I get, the more loved and free I will feel and the more love I will be able to give to my daughter and my partner.

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Jean, I understand. I don’t want to be a disappointment or think that I don’t love in return. Plus it leads to a lot of frustration.

Darlene, you must have had a very patient husband. Hurrah for you.
I have been working for many years on my healing. I hope this may be the last thing I need to work on too but it is going to be very scary. I don’t even know where to start. Oh, oh, here comes the anxiety……….

Thank you for your posts.

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IamEchad,

I don’t ever see someone else…do I feel like someone else sometimes yes….but when I look in the mirror it’s always me…Jenny…I look really sad sometimes…or really pissed off…perhaps your change in perception or personality sometimes makes you feel like your shell has changed….

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(Just for the readers ~ Jenny’s comment is posted on two posts and I have answerd her on both posts in case anyone is wondering about why the duplicates)
Jenny,
I felt so much the same way as you have written about here. That it would never end… that I would be on this exhausting journey of recovery, forever. But I remember this one day when I knew that I was never going to be “that broken” again. I just knew that I had gone deep enough, and re-wired my belief system enough that I would never feel that kind of confusion that I had had my whole life, again. Progress is the goal, not perfection. I didn’t put time limits on myself; I let myself BE in the process, I allowed myself days when I ran to the bedroom, jumped under the covers and hid until I felt better. Doing that didn’t hurt me or anyone else. I just kept going at whatever pace was good for that day or week. My kids were my motivation much of the time too. I was sick of the cycle. Deep down I was tired of not living and being caught somewhere between life and death. You have made it this far! Bravo. thanks for sharing your victories! You will inspire hope in others with this comment!
Thank you so much!

Hugs, Darlene

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I’m not sure I can relate to this…but lately, I’ve been feeling the need to be comforted. To comfort myself, I have taken up sucking my thumb, at the age of 22, which is sooooo stupid and ridiculous!!! I have struggled with masturbation since I can remember…maybe part of what happened to me, I don’t know. But, I know that I hate it…but I’ve used that recently to comfort myself, even after a little over a month of not doing it. I hate that I feel so dependent…the child in me does. I have realized that there are different parts of me, but they are all me…so they aren’t different personalities…but just different parts of me all vying for control.

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Hi Mindy,
Coping methods are always comfortable. I had to stop beating myself up about having them so that I could look at the why I needed them part. It takes time. All my coping methods had thier roots in what happened to me.
About different parts, that is pretty common too. I had different personalities, but in recovery I realized that they were also just different parts of me and that also got sorted out by looking at the roots of the trauma etc. This is the heart of what I write about.
So glad that you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

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Aloha Darlene,

Quite the article/blog here! In fact, so intriguing that I am scanning your other posts, linked posts & comments… Props to you for giving us all a healthy dose of “real talk!”

Just a quick question: what do you do for “grounding” one’s self? Also do you ever feel the desire to “escape” the “reality” that has been created by our delusional, narcissistic, & externally thinking society is justified in any way? What positive “escape mechanisms” have you implemented to replace the past toxic behavior? Thanks in advance!

Happy Holidays to you & yours!
Mai Iloko Mai,
L

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Aloha Lace!
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
I find that reality however painful it may sometimes be, is so much better than any escape that I ever tried! I have written tons of stuff in this blog that might give you an idea of how I overcame the past and all that went with that. The biggest thing for me has been facing the real truth. The way that it really was and then discounting all the lies that were fed to me about how any of that had anything to do with my choice. That kept me busy for a while.. About grounding or positive forward motion stuff ~ I use the truth for everything. You will get a better idea of what I am talking about as you read more of this site.
Hugs, Darlene

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Aloha Darlene

Definitely will investigate further into your site/blog for more information!

Indeed staying True to Self is “the” key; & I wasn’t suggesting avoidance by any means of “grounding” &/or escape. Terminology can be tricky when traveling back into the realm of mental “illness;” but alas I must learn to speak some of the key language in order to connect with those still enduring the “Journey of Awakening;” right?

Have you ever tried hiking? I find this to be an “ideal escape” as you can NOT tune out your inner dialog, you CAN tune out those external voices, & it is very “grounding.” Society tends to fight the flow & Mother Nature; well… That IS the flow!

Continuing to read your insights… Blessed are those who have aid through the foggy maze of consciousness!

Mai Iloko Mai,
L

PS: Since you are into Truth vs False; definitely look into David Hawkins Theory of Consciousness & his chart of positive vs negative. Right up your alley & even a way to “callibrate” truth vs lie using the body’s natural responses instead of relying on eye movement, lie detector “tests,” or the best method: intuition, which can sometimes be like several radio stations playing at once. Thanks again!

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Lace,
After I responded I wondered if perhaps that was what you meant! LOL
I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on a pretty big farm/ranch ~ lots of land, serenity and beauty. I have taken advantage of that for a long time in my healing and I have ridden thousands of hours on my horses. I know exactly what you mean about tuning out and tuning in… LOL
Thanks for clarifying!
Hugs, Darlene

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Incredible!!! Very helpful. Thank God for you, a true blessing.

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Somehow or other, the Wind blew me to this website and this post in particular after a really disastrous night of disassociation.

Still processing through it all, I found the words of your wisdom and experience to be so helpful.
Thank you for your bravery to speak the unspoken and write such Truth.

Until-

M

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Hi M
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I am so glad that you are here!
hugs, Darlene

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