Dissociation is not the new zen
I’m gonna go hard today, so get ready.
I’m not fucking with this dissociative bullshit some people are pushing as spiritual advice. I am a former reigning queen of dissociation and I know it when I see it, I don’t care how nicely you package it. There really is nothing nice about telling people with trauma that the solution is to dissociate to feel better.
Trauma is in the body. Emotions are in the body. Memories literally live in our cells. The solution is not for people to disconnect from themselves, it’s to reconnect back to themselves and learn how to get comfortable in a body, in the present time, with whatever fresh hell or heaven exists in that present time AND BE THERE FOR YOURSELF. Because that is the only safety that is real. Ironically, you are running away to find safety in a place you can never find it authentically.
You will experience shitty things again, things that remind you of past trauma, and the one and only thing you can do for yourself is not abandon yourself. How would you feel if every time you and your partner got into a crisis and they ran away and left you to pick up the pieces? I say this with the utmost love and compassion because I have been there and I still work on this myself. Dissociation was a survival tactic and you’re here, so it worked. Tada. But it’s a terrible long term habit.
Dissociation cuts you off from your life force energy. You’re tired and bored and unfocused and unmotivated and not sure who you are or what you’re supposed to do, and the only thing you have going for you is distraction and/or a steady stream of stories about everything arising from the mental body. Ever feel like that? Think about how present you are in your body when you feel that way.
Let me put it another way.
Dissociation is a living death. Your consciousness is not here in the present, you are not in a body, and you are not really living a life in this world. That’s how we describe ghosts, is it not?
If you’ve ever had your bodily autonomy removed, and another situation comes up in any context that is a match to that experience, your body remembers. Your body has unprocessed emotion that surfaces.
So, yeah, you’re feeling a little fucked up right now, especially if you’re a woman living in the states.
Your two choices are process it (partially or fully), or let it settle back into the unconscious realm to come up later.
I can’t tell you for absolute certain if now is the time to process, maybe you’re in a total crisis mode and you can’t. Maybe your metal health is hanging on by a thread. But keep in mind that you’re kicking the can down the road because it will come up again and again. If you choose to ignore it this time, make a third option. Tell yourself you deserve better than to keep running away from yourself and commit to being prepared and ready in the future when it comes up again. Your body will let you know how much it can process at one time. Not many people do 100% in the first go. You’d also be surprised how much relief you can get from just letting go of 10%. This isn’t a contest, there are no judges and prizes.
This is true for all traumatic things. If you experience something again, and it is a match to unprocessed emotion and unhealed trauma, your body is gonna have some things to say about it. You will feel those emotions again.