Dissociation

by Mark Ivar Myhre on February 24, 2008

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I used to feel weird. Sometimes, REALLY weird.

Like I wasn’t in my body. Like I didn’t belong. Like everything I saw wasn’t real; as if I were in a dream state or something.

It’s not a good feeling. You’re so out of control. Or, more correctly, you’re so powerless.

Dissociation, to me, is a state of extreme separation and isolation and compartmentalization.

I don’t know, but I suspect the root cause in most cases comes from past trauma and/or abuse. Something happened (maybe a lot of somethings) that I just couldn’t handle – so I attempted to separate myself from my experiences. In other words, from my thoughts and feelings and memories of what happened.

I’ve been in the unique position of being able to witness – first hand – abuse of a child. And years later to ask that child about what she remembered from what her mother did.

She remembered absolutely nothing of the incident I myself saw with my own eyes. She didn’t even believe me. She seemed incredulous when I brought it up. She knew I wouldn’t make up the story. Still, I couldn’t jog her memory.


I was amazed.

Actually, I witnessed numerous incidents of abuse on this person. She remembered less than 10% of what I physically witnessed. As you might suspect, she has feelings of dissociation now.

I’m not saying every person who feels dissociated from themselves was abused as a child. But the theory does make a lot of sense.

Plus, to a child, everything is so big and overwhelming and impactful. It might not take a whole lot of trauma to develop the habit of separation.

This habit of separation started as a survival mechanism.

But it ends up creating a host of problems.

It may have been the only way to survive, but now it’s only a detriment. It needs to end so you can get on with your life as an adult.

There’s two things you need to do:

1. Become more grounded in your body.

First, read my previous post on what I do every morning. It’s an excellent way to both invigorate and energize your body, as well as to ground yourself.

I highly recommend it.

By the way, there’s a guy in Tampa who (last time I checked) sells this exact same info for hundreds of dollars. You get the same info for free by reading my previous post.

Aren’t you glad you know me?

Also, engage in any physical activity that gets you in touch with your body. Dancing is good. Check out what this woman does on You Tube:

I love her attitude!

Or, consider some sort of stretching exercise. Stretching out. Everyone knows it’s a good idea, but who actually does it?

Well, I do. I developed the habit of stretching throughout the day. 10, 20 times a day – I’ll spend a minute or so to stretch various parts of my body.

I also do isometrics throughout the day. That’s where you tense various muscles in your body against other muscles. Say, by pushing your arms against each other. No movement, but a good little mini-workout.

Or, I’ll simply tense and relax various muscle groups, such as my abdominals.


Anything you do to feel your body more (in a loving way, of course!) will probably help. At least somewhat. But to really change the underlying problem:

2. End the separation from yourself.

The first thing to do here is to start processing your thoughts and feelings.

The best way to start processing is to write out what you think and feel. I’ve scribbled out my thoughts and feelings for years. And used up thousands of sheets of paper.

Most of which are still stored in boxes. Every now and then I’ll get them out, just to marvel at how my life has changed over the years.

The foundation of that change consists of processing.

I mention more details of this most effective way to start processing in the free e-book on emotional healing.

Just by processing (a lot of processing!) you’ll go a long way to reconnect with yourself.

Also, be aware that we’ve all built walls inside ourselves.

One particular wall – the wall around our heart. I explain a lot more about it at healing-emotional-pain.com.

But that’s not the only wall.

We often compartmentalize painful experiences of the past. I’ve even heard of people advocating compartmentalization as a technique of self-improvement.


I’d strongly suggest not doing this.

Your power lies trapped in those painful experiences.

Pain ‘locks up’ your power.

You need to cleanly feel (and then absorb into you the energy behind) the pain. Then the pain automatically releases.

It works like magic if you let it.

Basically, you need to ‘get out of the way’ and let the natural healing take place.

When I say get out of the way, what I mean is to stop the blame, righteousness, pity, judgments, etc.

In other words, drop your little story!

Accept responsibility for your situation in life.

In fact, all these things I’ve mentioned involve taking responsibility. (See? Responsibility can be FUN!!!)

While there are other things to do to end the dissociation, these are the starting steps:

Ground yourself physically.

Reconnect with yourself on the inside. By processing out your thoughts and feelings and by seeking out the walls you’ve built.

Start there.

 

all the best,

Mark

Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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