The Dissociation Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

Background

This is the fourth part in our series of “Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”.  A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the triggers aspect.  Today, we will be discussing the disassociation aspect.  Due to the response that I received from my ex-husband years ago, I started stuffing my feelings.  I can remember very clearly the exact moment that I decided that I would not cry anymore.  I was on the middle level of the townhome, not realizing I’d been heard.  At this point, I had been crying for almost an hour.  He told me that I should quiet down or the kids would possibly wake up.  He kept asking me for the reason behind my crying.  I refused to tell him because I had already figured out that the knowledge didn’t transfer over to things getting better.

healing, trauma, triggers, dissociation, grief, crying, mental health

Handling the Pain

Fast forward several years later to 2012, when it became clear that we were heading for divorce, the pain, crying, and feelings came on with full force.  I hadn’t cried for so long, that I had to relearn how to feel the feelings, if that makes sense.  Grieving was difficult because I was afraid of being out of control, and the crying not stopping.  This was due to stuffing my feelings for so long.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

What happened before, during, and after the divorce, including now, is that I have been living with managing trauma on a daily basis.  When I finally felt safe enough, I was able to start grieving a little at a time.  I quickly realized that the more you grieve, the less trauma that is stored emotionally, mentally, and physically in your body.  The less you grieve, the more trauma that is stored emotionally, mentally, and physically in your body.

The Dissociation Process

What I didn’t realize is that along with living with trauma on a day to day basis, you are still constantly having more trials, bringing more compounded trauma, and your brain gets on overload.  This is like a computer that has too many processes running at one time.  What ends up happening is that everything locks up, and you can’t do anything.  You have to reboot.  It’s the same way with trauma.  When you are so overloaded with compounded trauma, the one thing, no matter the intensity of it, becomes the straw that broke the camel’s back.  You start numbing out, and then dissociating.  Dissociation is a mental process of disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity.

Prayer for Relief

You are probably going to laugh at this one.  At first, I started feeling out of control because my feelings started coming back on line, and then I start feeling out of control when my brain starting disassociating from the feelings to protect me.  I can remember one time in particular when the kids and I were living at our last residence, I was loaded up on trauma.  It was so bad, that I started dissociating.  Back then, I didn’t realize that dissociating helps to protect your mental state in these cases.  I prayed real hard, because I starting feeling out of control in the state that I was in, asking God to get rid of the dissociation.  He answered right away, and then all of the feelings came flooding through, with no bottom to ground me.  That’s when even in this bad state that I was in at the moment, I laughed, and told God that I guess I’d better be careful for what I pray for.  Now, I know that I just need to ride it out.  Everything happens for a reason.

 

Please feel free to send an email or respond with a comment down below if you are so led as to how you deal with the dissociating side of trauma.

Hope you have a blessed night!

 

Katina

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

New International Version (NIV) Proverbs 34: 18-20

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