Dissociation—A Required Tool

My son cried yesterday while I painted a wall in the lobby of his school. The e-n-t-i-r-e time I was painting the front lobby wall, he was negotiating and crying with his teacher and the head of the school. Bless those women. And love for the two others who were with us as well. One was holding the space with love and the other was cheering me on. I’m entering him in rehab (more on that later) and realize I’m the one who has to do the most work (letting go, accepting his independence, etc, etc, puke, etc.). He did have a few moments of calm or peace (quiet at least) during the hour tantrum—working through his stuff time—but would start up again rather quickly. I dissociated somewhere between the painting and crying and hearing encouraging words. I was out. Of my body. Far, far, far away.

I think that dissociation is necessary when the pain and the experience is too much for my wee lil human brain to handle. It is the next morning and I am still not fully in my body. I have been crying—hard—this morning, and so I know I am beginning the reconnection process.

I believe in the power of dissociation because our brains rock. They are goofy, too, but this is one of my favorite “brain tools.” It is this awesome tool to separate from trauma, in my opinion. I have seen how I used dissociation throughout my childhood, and man, I’m so glad I had it. I’ve done oodles of therapy, so when I leave my body and go somewhere perceived as safe, I welcome the protection. I will work to re-enter my own atmosphere today.

I am grateful for this awareness; I know where to start.

Sending love. You are not alone.

Quick Note: My son is ten now and I feel it is time to try to teach the “you can’t always get what you want because you cry” lesson. There’s so much in that particular lesson that includes OCD, divorced parents, blah, excuse, explanation, therapy, sensory . . . Ya know, all the stuff that is in the pot.


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