Find a Way Back to Me

The thing about dissociation is it often makes us forget why our minds can feel so chaotic at times. But, just because we dissociate, doesn’t necessarily mean the dissociative issues are not still playing out in our subconscious and having a devastating impact on our overall emotional wellbeing.

As I look back over my own posts from recent weeks, it’s easy to see why there is so much chaos, but amidst all the psychotherapeutic work, I have a niggling doubt that something very important is missing.

At the heart of this is avoidance, one of my closest allies and greatest foe’s. It keeps me safe from all those painful emotions, but it’s also the padlock and chain to my isolation.

Sometimes we can bury our emotions so deep over many years that we somehow forget how to form an attachment to them, as if the App is still there but the connection is missing.

I have a reasonably pleasant and comfortable existence with little time to sit around feeling bored, but everything seems to revolve towards mid-afternoon, when the shoes and clothes come off and at last, I can relax in pyjamas and slippers, while pursuing my favourite pastime, writing, and blogging in blissful isolation.

All this may sound harmless and fulfilling enough and you may wonder why I complain. Well, this would be even better if I was eighty years old and retired.

For the first 8-9 months of therapy, I could not see past the trauma from childhood. My gut instinct said that once I start to sweep some of these emotions aside, then perhaps I may well arrive at whatever awaits me in the here and now… and here I am… stuck inside some kind of void, somewhere between the past and the year 2015 and it feels a little scary.

During my last session with Paul, which I wrote about in “Observing the emotion” we talked about the end of my therapy programme and I became incredibly emotional, without really understanding why.

I usually profess not to feel any particular attachment to my therapy programme, so the reason for almost turning into a blubbering wreck have remained an intriguing mystery, until now, two weeks later.

The reason why I became emotional at the prospect of therapy ending was that it forced me into experiencing feelings in the present moment. I had this enormous and overwhelming sense of sadness, of aloneness, and I knew I just couldn’t go back there.

This pleasant and isolated existence has been my sanctuary, but it is not so much a life as it is a symptom of a dreadful past. The person I became is the opposite of who I really am and now I just need to find a way back to me.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Find a Way Back to Me

  1. littlevoicetalks

    And you will. Coming home to your self. Weirdly, been talking about ‘isolation’ a lot recently. Your post has struck a chord for sure x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. therabbitholez

    Your coming out of your isolation, which is good, but a new experience for you, it’s like tasing something different you roll it around taking in the different textures flavours before deciding you like it.

    The reconnection with your emotions in the now and as well as the past will be a strange sensation, but eventually the two will come together which will bring you much understanding about yourself and will help you to move forwards.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Priceless Joy

    One thing about therapy, and you have said this in the past, is that it peels layers away from our life so we can view them, feel the emotion in them, and heal from them. I think that disassociation we have used as part of our subconscience to protect ourselves becomes revealed. Therapy is difficult. It is a lot of work and it is emotionally taxing. There will be a day you will feel strong enough to end your therapy with Paul – it just doesn’t happen to be right now. I saw a quote on one of your posts that really hit home for me. “You are only as sick as your secrets.” As far as I can tell you are completely honest and open with us and I really appreciate that because it “allows” me to be honest and open with mine. I think we are conquering out illness one word at a time. Thank you for being a friend Cat. That means a lot to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. fromthedarkintothesunshine42

    Ay ..you amaze me big time ,you continuesly grow and I know we all do but you moving in leaps and bounds ,the insight you have to were you are now is remarkable and inspiring. .and yes you’ll find your way back ! GO CAT !!

    Like

    Reply
  5. edwinasepisodes

    I do hope that you manage to find a way back to you again Cat. By the sounds of things, you have had a hell of a lot of trauma in your life, and it will take time…you will get there. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  6. mandy smith

    Cat, I sure understand you feeling very emotional at losing what has given you a sense of security and grounding. I’ve thought about losing my blogging friends–the only real friends I’ve ever had–and how would I go on, who would I be? I’ve never thought about finding my way back to an old me, since I don’t think one ever existed. The old me was the shell I became with the programming from early childhood by my parents. All I have is the reinvention of me. I know Paul is part of your finding you, but it’s a little like when someone really really important to you dies, you have to find a way to hang on to what you loved about them, tuck it in your pocket, your heart, and honor them by nurturing yourself and growing further. That you have these intense emotional feelings–new to you–tells me you got a lot from your work with Paul, Cat. Maybe this part of your journey needs to end so you can move on to the next. It may be pretty awesome! (Forgive me for being so wordy and sappy 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      You are never wordy or sappy, Mandy, NEVER! 🙂

      I have thought a lot about this notion of ‘finding a way back to me’ and you’re quite right, that old me probably doesn’t exist and I do wonder how much this contributes to ‘the void’. Maybe it’s partly an empty vessel?

      Thank you, Mandy, you’re a treasure and always give me food for thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. mandy smith

        Aww, thanks, Cat. I finally figured out that an “old me” was an illusion, a fantasy that things had been good once. Just like each time I went “home” to visit the family, I tried to erase the bad memories, and pretend it was going to be a Leave It To Beaver, or Father Knows Best Moment. (Did you get those “perfect family” shows in the UK when you were a kid?) Those moments never existed in my childhood home. Just like an old me, didn’t. I don’t know if there was an old Cat you want to go back to, but if you nurture the Cat I know you are today, you’re gonna be one hell of an awesome guy!

        Like

        Reply
        1. Cat Post author

          I didn’t watch telly, Mandy, right up until long after leaving home, but I did have lots of friends and would attach myself to their families. I knew from an early age that things weren’t quite right at home. When I lived with my parents, it meant I would need to sit with them in the living room and that was definitely a no go area for me. We would sit together at the table to eat like a good little family (mum always liked pretence) but I would need to watch what I said because I was at risk of a slap in the mouth by Dad who sat next to me. And then I am all the bad boys for not respecting or wanting to spend time with my wonderful parents who, by the way, “Did everything for me.” The worst thing is, they truly believe it, so in their minds, I am this horrible selfish person. This is where my guilt and rumination lies, Mandy, and is something I am trying to work on as we speak! I think a part of the essence of who Cat is still exists, but negativity and toxic people may just suffocate the goodness. Um…what d’ya mean by “I’m GONNA be awesome” I AM awesome. Thanks Mandy 🙄

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
          1. mandy smith

            lol! I know you’re awesome, Cat! I wasn’t sure YOU knew it 😀 Believe me, if I can work through decades of debilitating guilt and ruminations, I know you can. Doesn’t mean when I’m super tired and my guard is down I don’t “go there” on occasion, but a good knock on the head against the wall takes care of that!

            Like

            Reply
            1. Cat Post author

              Sometimes I feel my brain switches almost like in someone with DID. Like today, I’m really trying to stay in the moment with sensory awareness and then boom suddenly I catch myself half way into an argument inside my flaming mind aaarrggghh. But, onwards I shall go, Mandy, with wonderful people like you behind me.
              PS I’m not so sure I’m awesome, but I can be or WIL be. Who knows, I’m a little confused this weekend. Ta much 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

  7. ziggy40

    Dear Cat,
    I relate..feeling the loss and pain…staying protected, even though missing out. Feeling alone, left out is my struggle…why it’s so hard to trustpeople for me. I think I’m learning I will find a new me…accepting that personally opening and working through pain means I will change and hope to come out stronger and more resilient…lol
    Love Ziggy

    Like

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      I think finding the new ‘us’ is the key, Ziggy. All this work is bound to renew our strength and resilience. Thank you so much 🙂 Hope you’re well

      Like

      Reply
  8. Andi

    I don’t know that you’ll find a way back to you, but I think you’ll find a new way to get to yourself. And you may be pleasantly surprised by who that person is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      I think you’re right, Andi, this realisation is just dawning and it’s all thanks to people like you who share their thoughts and experiences. I wouldn’t be so far down the road if I didn’t have that, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. sensuousamberville

    Recognizing this will start the mapping on your route back Cat. I think blogging has made you feel less isolated and perhaps to crave less isolation. The end of therapy/groups means you will not have this social outing, start planning on something to fill that time. A volunteer position of some sort perhaps?

    Cat, have you been taught how to stop dissociative episodes when they begin?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      I think you’re right, Amber, and the therapy contributes to feeling less awkward and paranoid.

      Um, no, I’m just beginning to recognise them when they begin. My instinct tells me to acknowledge them, both to self and to therapy and see where this takes me to. I should also do a little more reading…

      Like

      Reply
      1. sensuousamberville

        In your therapy have you gone through mindfulness exercises?
        Knowing that you are entering one, you can use the deep focus of mindfulness and a controlled breathing technique to leave the state and leave relaxed rather than alarmed.

        Like

        Reply
        1. Cat Post author

          I have been on a mindfulness course last year. This therapy programme does not teach us anything. We have a 12 week introductory course about the basic theory of MBT and we are encouraged to go searching for ourselves. I have been practising mindfulness techniques this week as a way of grounding to the present moment rather than allowing the rumination to hold me back from moving forward… if that makes sense. Thanks, Amber

          Like

          Reply
  10. Jay

    You have way too much insight not to make it out on the other side. I know it’s scary, but that’s a good sign, it means you understand what’s coming. But the reality is never as scary as our contemplation of it.

    Like

    Reply
  11. Glynis Jolly

    Hmm… interesting. Do you, or have you in the past found it difficult to cry? I ask only because I associate crying with the full impact of emotions. When I distance myself from an event, whether it be good or bad, there isn’t anyway I’m going to cry about it no matter what is said to me to bring that event to light.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      That’s exactly what happens, Glynis, it’s a distancing from the emotions, so you can recount everything but stay well back from feeling. Thanks, Glynis 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  12. Pingback: Therapy – Experiencing the Void | My Travels with Depression

  13. cardamone5

    People used to say to me that awareness is half the battle. I’d smile, and shake my head, knowing my seeming awareness was just more me trying to seem wise and evolved. Now I recognize certain things I do to avoid feeling, like isolating, and buying things. I understand why I am doing this now, and that awareness stops me mid-isolation or mid-shop. I’m not saying I have resolved my feelings, but at least I am aware of what I do to avoid them! I think you are on your way too. Just don’t pressure yourself to move through feelings any faster than you are able because that pace is as much your true self as anything.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      I think rumination is also an avoidance tactic, which gets me every time. Awareness does count towards change, but as you say, it also takes practice and loads of self-discipline to make that change fully materialise. Thanks, Elizabeth 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  14. manyofus1980

    The past is so painful, it is even worse when past and present get all mixed up, sorry you felt so alone, so sad, so lost…your doing amazing work on your therapy journey, sending you many hugs of support ❤

    Like

    Reply

Your feedback counts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s