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Well...I can tell you who it's not.

My ass. And maybe your ass too lol

I'm not talking about dissociation directly now. I'm talking about it's links & chains. I'm talking about it's momentum and the sly way our rearing and development since our initial trauma made DP a viable solution to create a stalemate within us to maintain equilibrium. And this part is the hardest for me to understand-which presents another dichotomy for us DP'ers. We're natural analysts. And while it's true that using dissociation as a coping skill makes easy work of aversions and denials, that's not what this is. Even someone who isn't dissociated will struggle with this work because it plays with shadows of memory that are real but are often from your child self's perspective.

And the adult you now knows that in order for us to get better we may have to betray our caregivers or accept that they've betrayed us when all too often they are all we've had.

But I have to admit that when this part is skipped or missed I wouldn't have come to understand how I arrived at shame on a global scale. And understanding that most (if not all) isn't really your fault helps to give you some compassion about it. And for some of us this might be our first experience with compassion.

At least that's my hope.

When I first recognized myself in the mirror, aside from the horror lol I realized that dissociation is an emotional lie that you cast on yourself. The same person I saw is the same person everyone that's knows and loves me sees everyday. The only person that isn't aware of it, is you. And this knowledge once reintroduced to you isn't rosy. Because from a re-personalized perspective things suddenly became a lot more sucky. And if you think that isn't possible, I assure you that it is.

Re-personalizing is a lot like meeting someone you've only heard about but simply can't stand. And I don't mean just dislike I mean like, they are your mortal enemy. The analogy I presented in my last post really is the real shit. Except I made light of the dialogue between the two strangers. The fact is their exchanges are a lot more cruel.

But then you realize that person is you and now not even dissociation will let you get away.

So shame has to be faced.

But shame, self hate and other neurotic tendencies aren't by themselves enough for someone to use dissociation. Trauma opens that wound. But how you're reared to see yourself from that unresolved wound pokes sticks at a festering sore that when it seeps there's no where to go so it turns back on itself and poisons the whole system.

I don't know if you've heard the term "narcissistic" parenting? It's a buzz word that caught the attention of self help authors that threw up all over Barnes & Nobel of late. And it's incredibly "Freudian" in it's ideology because it's seems to explain just why most neurotics are fucked up in general.

It's their Mother. LOL

Now it occurs to me that in the off chance anyone out there that actually reads my bullshit then I have to add a disclaimer: Don't go roundhouse kicking your parents after you read my post lol You'll find that even though everything I will say going forward is likely to be true...intending to harm you is far different from their sheer ignorance. And while that might not make you feel better, or even fix this problem it's also the truth.

So when I think of a narcissism I think of a control freak. Everything is always about them and everyone else be damned. It's the entitled Diva actress, the starving artist or the raging alcoholic and they can be. But I didn't account for narcissism being more subtle and it's not because we're us. It's difficult for even a trained professional to see.

So we're traumatized and already damaged about our safety, who we are and our ability to emotionally connect or attach. Then somehow we're saved and that "feeling" is restored. So now the trick is to keep this sense of safety but that doesn't happen because the mirrors we now have will have their own problems and will transfer that unto to us. To show you how this operates let me tell you my story:

I was adopted. My Mother was a single mother of 3 boys and her husband was a raging alcoholic who left her before her 3rd son was able to walk. One of her 3 sons was severely crippled with Cerebral Palsy and had to be institutionalized because she couldn't care of him properly. She felt guilty about this. Then a few years later I was placed in her care because my own Mom was a schizophrenic (hence my initial trauma). In addition to this I wasn't the same race. She was white and I am Latina. I was almost 3 when she got me. So they placed me with a new Mom who then attends to my basic needs and restores my sense of safety. She's a sweet, soft spoken woman considerably older when she got me. Gentle and kind in her own way but very sad and very much alone and without adult companionship. And because of this ..rather, because her need to have a functioning spouse or adult intimacy was not met, she unwittingly used her own children to replace that need. This is emotional incest. I know that's an ugly word but that is what it is.

The problem with that is children (no matter how precocious) cannot be used that way. They depend on parents to tell them who they are. Not only that, they need to be given healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are necessary in child development because boundaries help to draw a line between you and your parent. Initially children are completely dependent on their parents but healthy growth requires a separation. So when those boundaries are not clearly defined a child becomes enmeshed with their parents bullshit and will play out their co-dependent dance with their caregivers.

My Mother as sweet as she was made her need for companionship more important than being a parent. As much as I hate to say it, she emotionally abused me further. This is how this played out.

Because emotionally traumatized children are broken as they grow they become more demanding in their needs and on the surface it makes a child seem somewhat bratty. So a strong (not abusive) hand would have been necessary to rear me to help me to understand that there are different, less destructive ways to get my needs met. But because she saw herself as persecuted and unlovable I was allowed to act whatever way I wanted. This gave me a reputation with her (and the rest of my family as difficult, bad and mean to my mother). But the truth is she shouldn't have allowed that. She should have thought more of me and less of her need. She should have parented and not used me in this way. As result of this my view of myself was always skewed because I become her hurtful husband who never loved her and she was at my mercy. And at the same time she had to rescue me from this image. This relationship with her would now play out my whole life.

So now this image of myself as bad, selfish and ultimately unlovable took form. The real me never really takes root because the real me was never allowed to develop. And this form of myself was not a form that was acceptable. So I was left to my own resources to form an image of myself that more acceptable. So I had my imagination to play with that. So I created someone who I wanted to be and she was so different from that horrible little girl. She could be anything she wanted and because no boundaries were available to keep this image in check. It runs amuck.

To make a long story short, emotional abuse in my development created split between who I want to be and who I actually am. But keep in mind, we're already divided so all you need is a little push to disconnect all together.

And boy did that push come.

My mom gets sick. She's all I have. The only thing I'm really attached to for safety and she gets sick. And she gets sick at a time when I am supposed to be figuring out just who I am. The difference between my real self and the false self is already shaky. Then the only person who makes me feel safe is going to die and I am not separated from her. Her dance is my dance. How does the child reconcile self hatred and her need to attach. She's been taught she's not lovable as she is. Further, trauma has made it difficult to process her emotions, now she hates herself and the only thing that connects her is threatened. What does that little girl do? There is no escape from the reality of her situation.

Well she's been presented with this kind of problem before hasn't she? She detaches as a method to cope.

So here we are.

Children are blank canvases. They depend on parents to teach them self respect, love, honesty, work ethic and host of other complexities that make a person, well a person. But when that mirror is skewed or already broken the child is at the mercy of their parents own image. And you cannot teach what you do not have.

The person in the mirror that you don't recognize deserves your compassion and not your hatred. No one has loved them in the way that they should have and it's now your job to do that for yourself. It's hard though. Your fighting a pathology that appears to be set in stone and your job is reshape that stone into something else. But that has to something else that is based in reality. That allows you to be emotionally "safe" enough to be present and safe in your own life. And you (and me) can do that.

How? We have to find healthy attachments. I'll talk about that in my next post.

  • Zed likes this

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Dec 28 2015 02:26 PM

This is very informative, thank you.

You write beautifully btw..

Hair Nose Hand Arm Eye

Dec 28 2015 03:33 PM

Thank you Zed!
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Dec 29 2015 04:32 AM

Agreeing with Zed... I just finished reading every post you have made. Your blog is quite posibly one of the most realistic and informative things i've seen on this site. I love your style of writing, humor and honesty.Everything you write makes so much sense and none of it is filled with despar bitterness or negative circles of though.
Keep at it
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Hair Nose Hand Arm Eye

Dec 29 2015 10:07 AM

Thank you Mana! I am so glad to hear that I'm not alone in this. There is power and learning in numbers!
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