Giving Up On Dissociating

dissociating

This past week I had a five hour session with my therapist. I booked five hours because I had an intention to clear any last bits of confusion I might have between my mistakenly internalized sense that I’m dangerous/bad/dark and that dangerous/bad/dark things happened to me a long time ago.
You might wonder, “What in the hell could possibly go on in a session that long?!” It’s a good question, and has an even better answer, that if we spent more time together, I might choose to share more of. For now, I’ll report that the bulk of the time was spent with me and him catching how often I jump out of my present fear and into a dissociative habit.
Dissociation, if it’s a new subject to you, includes glossing your eyes over, changing the subject, noticing unrelated things around you while your talking, staying outside the conversation, avoiding anything, indulging a fantasy, eating unintentionally, smoking unintentionally, fucking unintentionally, working unintentionally, ingesting drugs unintentionally, coercing people, coercing yourself, and to my surprise, in my case, asking smart questions at certain times, wondering about the nature of things at odd times, and revelling in nostalgia for beautiful landscapes and memories at certain times.
Every one of those “certain or strange times” of mine were moments when a fear arose that I could not or more accurately would not acknowledge.
After five hours, I had blown enough of my cover that the horror of what I had been doing could arise. I was keeping tough memories away from my consciousness so I wouldn’t have to grieve them. With that horror came the actual memories of what had happened. And you guessed it, they were horrible. Accepting and grieving them, however, was a relief. The dangerous/bad/dark finally had a place and time. It finally had words, and I could see that I was not responsible for them. They were events that I got caught up in. What was also painfully humbling, even grief-provoking, was to get that most of my initiatives, urges, and decisions over my life have somehow abated my deep fear of those early events.
Now that I’ve called my own bluff, (and I must humbly admit I’m discovering that even after calling my bluff in increments over twenty-five years, that there’s “still this much to do.”) My practice is to best as I can, sit and wait for what I know is an authentic, right down from deep in my gut, impulse to start mobilizing my life force before I make decisions (again).
I take heart, because today I had real one! I could recognize it right away! Once I felt the beauty of it, and how life-filling it was to feel life drawing me into a desire, to my surprise, the next experience was fear. I checked that out with my therapist. He said, “Yes, it’s because you’re all in and it’s totally frightening.” And then leaned in with a mischievous grin and whispered, “But totally worth it!”
We laughed and it gave me some small comfort that if I could live my life that on the edge, that alive, and that someone like him had survived his own version, then I might have a chance at surviving my own delicious life too.