[Potential trigger alert? I think? ugh. IDK.]
I have often wondered why I have the ability to stay calm during a crisis when others flip out. Everything slows down and I feel like I’m in the middle of a time warp. I hear people talking and, vaguely, I hear people freaking out or panicking. Generally, I am annoyed by freaking out and/or panicking so that fades way to the back. I am only tuned into the emergent situation at hand. My heart does not race and I stay within my breath. I always have, ever since I was small.
As an example, when I was younger where I had to administer CPR to a man who was having a heart attack. I was fine. Sparing the details, I was absolutely fine. I didn’t even tell my parents what had happened when I came home. The man’s son came to our house later that day to thank me. I was in my room. [Dissociating probably.] The story was later in the paper. I didn’t think much of it.
When I began working toward understanding what dissociation is – and I’m not sure I totally understand it yet – I realized that I dissociate and have dissociated much of my life. How much is too much? Well, lately, I have had trouble functioning. I think that’s a wee bit more dissociating that necessary but it does help me to heal through deflecting as much external crap as possible. That said, I have become aware of my dissociation during the “freeze” reaction associated with C-PTSD symptoms. Because I’m now *aware* of it, the freeze reaction has been a bit more intense. I believe this will pass and is just part of recognizing that I am dissociating in the first place. I do find myself becoming overwhelmed with the next step of deciding how to unfreeze, which means trying to figure out how to act or respond…yeah, I don’t know that stuff yet…getting there.
It’s not that I don’t know, it’s that I’m tearing everything down in terms of old programming and I’m finding that I cannot eat the whole elephant in one bit. [dah. go figure.] I don’t take for granted that I know what to do in some of these situations because the old way of coping has to be considered dysfunctional until deemed to be otherwise. I can feel myself slipping back into old patterns and, thankfully, I can feel myself becoming aware and uncomfortable with the slippage. That’s a good thing. I guess it would be a bit ridiculous to think that I should be able to learn, retain, and actively practice all of these new skills, especially with the freeze response at front and center.