Trauma and Leaving The Body - Dissociation To Protect Self

December 12, 2017


When we are faced with overwhelming danger - accident, loss, threatened - a part of us may split off and dissociate in order to protect our egoic structure. It's safer to leave the body than inhabit it during a life threatening situation. The feelings and emotions are simply too much to handle. The problem with dissociation is that it is never supposed to be a long-term solution for the pain we feel. We have to fall and come back home eventually. One has to get back into their bodies and slowly work through the feelings and emotions that were too much to handle at the previous time.


When we are unaware of dissociation, we feel huge conflicts and tremendous terror when our dissociated part(s) tussle for our awareness. Trying to block it out of consciousness and create further distance only adds to the difficulties. What creates more pain and suffering is the fact that dissociation is also serving us as a protection mechanism without us realising. Like a catch-22, we are being both protected and tormented by terrifying and fearful thoughts and feelings. Something we wouldn't expect of a protection mechanism to do in the first place. Keeping us safe by making our world smaller and smaller.


When one starts working through their pain, the person experiences less dissociation and the body becomes more safer to inhabit. It's like they were never here before, lost in another world and always on the outside looking in with vacant eyes. Over time, you start feeling more grounded, present and alive. Like a scattered jigsaw, you start putting the pieces back together and the person no longer feels fragmented but more whole/complete.


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