Sometimes, my senses become oversaturated with objects, structures, signs, and noise, to the point of detaching from myself and their purpose. That detachment can morph into a dissociative state. Though I do this for my protection, it’s a place I prefer not to be.
My intent is to feel, not hide behind the safety of unconscious survival patterns. This intent placed me on a path of conscious exploration: Expression of Feeling through Art. The purpose being the development of my confidence in communication and expression of feelings.
To my point. Normally, I’m not aware of being in a dissociative state until after I have returned to a state of full consciousness. However, this morning I noticed an awareness of being in this mindset.
My awareness began with noticing the cloud formation in the sky and obstructions to what I would have preferred to see — my beloved ocean. I noted to myself as I drove how many signs guide us, direct us, tell us what to do, how to be, and where to go. We already have a “natural guidance system” within us: Intuition and Feeling, which is fairly accurate when we are connected and attuned.
At a stoplight, I paused and asked myself, “Where have I been and what do I need to know?”
I knew where I was, where I had been, and where I was going. What I needed to know was what was I feeling? Why had I chosen to allow myself to dissociate?
Dissociative states are used to protect me when I feel unsafe or threatened. Currently, there are a few external uncertainties I’m working through; however, I believe what I’m feeling threatened by is I am closer to connecting to feelings, there’s a conditioned taboo lurking beneath in my unconscious. I was taught as a child not to express or communicate my feelings, especially anger. Recent external situations have challenged this belief, especially when I have to play nice in the sandbox for survival.
Arriving safely home, instinct told me before I can allow my unconscious self the opportunity to detach from the discomfort, FEEL IT. It takes only a few seconds to ground and put myself back in touch with my energy, my life force: Breath. It’s especially helpful when I am unable to be in the place I most want to be — the seashore.
Dissociative states can be useful to protect us psychologically, especially if we are feeling vulnerable. What I discovered about myself this morning is not only am I capable of consciously choosing when I dissociate but more important is I gathered my courage and made a deliberate choice to feel.