I dissociated today in therapy.
This is something that I’ve dealt with since childhood, although there’s no evidence to explain why. The problem with fading out so early in life is that even if something did happen to cause it, I can’t remember what it is.
What happens to me is what therapists tend to call Profound Dissociative Amnesia, which sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It just means that when my brain decides that I can’t handle something (usually related to strong emotions), it just takes my consciousness out of the picture.
While it’s very kind that my brain is looking out for me, it can cause a lot of problems.
Like not remembering most of my childhood.
Or ruining friendships in high school. Or coming to realizing that I’m driving around and I’m totally lost (this was before the days of GPS).
But this is about today.
I’m in the process of ending a toxic friendship. After months of trying to get them to respect boundaries, to not verbally attack me, and to not use me as their emotional garbage can
They asked for closure, and I think that’s fair, so I met with my therapist to plan out how to approach it. After talking about setting boundaries and making rules about behavior, my therapist started comparing my friendship to an abusive relationship.
And I was gone.
I came to with her asking me questions in a tone of voice I’d never heard her use before. She got me ice to hold in my hands, and grilled me on who I was, where I was, and when it was. Everything was fuzzy, like when you suddenly get woken up from a dead sleep. After I figured out the logistics of who and where and when, I knew one thing.
I was so embarrassed.
Which seems to be a theme lately. I’m embarrassed about meltdowns, embarrassed about dissociation, basically, I’m embarrassed that I have non-standard coping mechanisms.
I wish it didn’t happen. It says so much about who I am and what I fear. Like today, triggers often come as a surprise to me, out of nowhere, and now my therapist knows.
I’m self-aware to the point of dysfunction, and I hate not knowing what I’m feeling, or why I’m feeling it. I try to avoid talking to my therapist about things that I haven’t figured out, because the idea of someone realizing something about me, before me, terrifies me.
I do realize that’s what therapy is usually for, but I still anxious and scared about having to talk about the dissociation, and what the fact that I dissociated when I did means.
For now, I’m exhausted. I’m still fuzzy around the edges, and to be honest, I’m still fixated on what happened. I try not to ruminate about what happens when my brain exiles my consciousness, but I can’t help but wonder what happened while I was gone.
I don’t like when this happens. I don’t like feeling helpless, and I hate feeling like I’m being defined by my disorder. What do I do if this keeps happening?
Don’t worry. That’s a rhetorical question.