A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.

  • 5 Replies
  • 1132 Views
*

Dutch Uncle

  • Member
  • 2108
  • Slowly freeing myself of a burden.
    • View Profile
A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« on: September 14, 2016, 06:03:47 AM »
Inspired by:
One way to start communication is to find common ground i.e. it’s likely that all parts want to get better. Usually all parts can agree with this goal even though they are not likely to agree on how to achieve it in the beginning.

You may begin communication by agreeing how to spend leisure time or how best to complete chores.  It may take some time to communicate with all parts as they must feel safe enough to communicate.

I think I’ve found something that has to do with the root of my dissociation, and maybe will be a tool for recovery/management of it as well.

My parents have had a long and miserable marriage. For as long as I can remember they have had arguments, and they have been in therapy (on and off) for 30 years of their marriage that I know off, they have been in therapy during their 2,5 year divorce, and they have been in therapy (together!) for years after their divorce. ‘Alternative’ therapies of course, nothing evidence based. Well, perhaps the first few were, in which DramaMama then didn’t get the full admiration of the therapist as she was being held accountable as well.

In the early stages of me coming out of the FOG in the last five years, I realized at some point that the relationship my sister had with me (I deliberately do not say “my relationship with my sister”) consisted almost solely of her telling me what was wrong with me, with ‘our’ relationship’ and that she so badly wanted to have a good relationship with me. I always thought is was fine. Or I should probably say “good enough”.

The common denominator between these two relationships is that according to sis and the spouse of my father, a relationship is under constant revision/need for improvement, that it has to become a good relationship.
One important factor in me cutting contact with sis (that relationship was the first in which I went LC) was the realization that I couldn’t understand why she kept hanging out with me if the relationship was so bad according to her. After which I quickly made the shift to: “why the * do I stay in that relationship then.” And subsequently started taking the steps to set boundaries. (which I now know. I had no concept at all of proper boundaries at the time.)

So the imprint I have gotten from the dysfunctional marriage of my parents (copied by my sister, and I now know that the few ‘romantic’ relationships I have had were based on the same principle, save te last one that I quit for it being too comfortable (PTSD!)) is that the only ‘good relationship’ is one where there is something fundamentally wrong, and where the essence of a relationship is that the relationship has to improve.

I did realize at some point further down the path to recovery, that the essence of a relationship is that you say to yourself: “This relationship is good enough.” (which of course doesn’t mean that labeling an abusive relationship as ‘good enough’ is a good fix)

In my process of learning to cope better with my dissociation, and in the process of integrating the different parts of me, I have now made a note on my wall that the only thing I need to achieve is being able to tell myself that my relationship with/between my different parts is good enough. And I should probably try to start having that opinion from now on. It already is good enough. My different dissociated parts are to some degree strangers to each other, and for strangers they have a good enough relationship.

That I have different dissociative parts is the result of TherapistMom’s incessant therapy on me that I needed to be fixed, that I had to get into contact with my feelings. While I probably was in perfect contact with my feelings as a child: it’s DramaMama who didn’t like my feelings and pushed me to have other feelings. She pushed me to not feel my feelings, dissociate from them. Her incessant pushing of me (and everybody else in her household) to “work on yourself” meant we were pushed to fix something that wasn’t broken. She broke it for us. She broke our spirits.

So I hope that in a sense to stop “working on me” (which is a forced commitment my TherapistMom imposed on me (Discover your core commitments)) and to start from a position where my relationship with my different parts is good enough at this point in time may be of aid in my recovery.

*

movementforthebetter

  • Member
  • 538
  • Molly Grue meets The Last Unicorn
    • View Profile
Re: A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 06:19:22 AM »
 :applause: for everything you wrote except the last two lines. You get a  :hug: for those.

*

woodsgnome

  • Member
  • 1710
  • I did not wish to live what was not life
    • View Profile
Re: A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 05:57:34 PM »
DutchUncle wrote: "It already is good enough."

Not just 'good enough' now, it always was. Even as it was hidden, the good was always there, like a shining star now coming into view for the first time. Some externals clouded the view, but you see it now, which also cuts the constant striving for visible achievement.

All that's really changed might be the realization that you  are 'good enough' and always have/always will be. Now you have the pleasure of sensing, seeing,and feeling the new/old reality on your own terms, and can hold it as your inner truth.

*

Dutch Uncle

  • Member
  • 2108
  • Slowly freeing myself of a burden.
    • View Profile
Re: A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 06:40:05 PM »
Not just 'good enough' now, it always was. Even as it was hidden, the good was always there, like a shining star now coming into view for the first time. Some externals clouded the view, but you see it now, which also cuts the constant striving for visible achievement.
Thank you woodsgnome.
Cognitively I know this to be true. Emotionally I'm not there yet.
To feel I'm good now is already new to me.
I have hope I'll be able to extend that, in time, to feeling I have always been good enough.

It feels good now though.
Thanks again.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 06:44:00 PM by Dutch Uncle »

*

Elizabeth Jack

  • Member
  • 20
    • View Profile
Re: A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2016, 10:43:37 PM »
Hmm.  I relate a little bit I think. 

My Oocyte Donor would always tell me that I was making everyone else miserable.  That I was selfish, and that all I wanted to do was to cause others pain.   :fallingbricks:  Yeah.  That's what caused my disassociation.  It was "selfish" and "evil" to share my emotions, so I didn't.  Gaslighting, I think is the term?   A lot of people had to tell me a million times that I'm caring, and generous, for me to believe it.  I can be a bit dramatic now, by my Oocyte's standards, but that's who I am  :cheer:  and the people who love me, love me anyway.   :bigwink:

*

MidnightOwl

  • Member
  • 17
    • View Profile
Re: A tool I invented to manage my dissociation.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 04:33:51 AM »
Dutch uncle - fantastic point...let it be good enough.

It's easy, when doing self work, to get caught up in the fixing and not appreciating the moment, the relationship, the self.

Good on you for protecting yourself and going LC when you felt you needed to. I like that you observed and shared where your sister learned this dynamic. I feel empathy for you both, because she's just acting out her programming (not that it is an excuse). When we have dysfunctional parents, we go through life doing what we're supposed to do...it just happens that we got dealt a bad hand :-/ So then we rebuild, which ain't easy but is oh so important.