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Something I've been wondering... why is it that when I go over the… 
18th-Sep-2006 08:53 pm

Something I've been wondering... why is it that when I go over the memories in my head, I don't see it from my 'point of view'? It's really weird. What I mean is, it's as if I'm watching it from a corner of the room. I can see the abuse happening to me, but I'm not seeing it through my eyes. It's like I'm an outsider watching it all happen. I don't think I see it that way when I'm flashbacking, but for me, I don't really seem to have physical flashbacks. I'll never see my abuse happening again during a flashback - it's more the emotions, feelings, fear, panic, et cetera. Hm. Something that's really been bugging me about that particular memory is the fact that I was forced to be on top of my abuser. In a way, to me it seems that because of that, it was my fault. Now, I know that's totally stupid thinking, but I can't shake the feeling that because of that, it was my fault. I mean, for God's sake, I was only six years old! Why on earth am I thinking that it could have been my fault? I thought I squashed those feelings a few months ago. Siiiigh. Two steps forward, and one step back.
19th-Sep-2006 04:12 am (UTC)
What you're describing is called depersonalization. It's a survival mechanism our psyche uses to help us not go crazy when traumatic things are happening to us. It's like we trick ourselves into thinking it's happening to someone else so that we won't feel the full impact of what is happening, and we won't just go nuts.

I think that all of us have a tendency to think whatever happened to us as children is our fault. I know I just realized like two nights ago that as a child, I had absolutely no power to change anything that adults did to me as a child, and just realizing that made me feel so relieved. It kind of amazes me that on some level I thought I could have stood up to my parents or whatever when I was a little kid! What 6-year-old kid has any power to change their own situation? Not one. Not one 6 year old child anywhere can control their destiny -- it's totally up to the adults who control their lives. Don't know why, but this makes me feel more relieved when I look back at my past.

*HUGS* and support to you -- you are doing great to look into this stuff and share it! You are very inspirational to me -- thank you.
19th-Sep-2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
Indeed, what eastertheatre wrote about depersonalization is very true. It's less traumatic for us to view it like a movie, as it makes us feel a bit more emotionally detached to view it as someone else going through it.

Our guilt is our brain's mechanism of actually making us feel more secure: if it was our fault, we could control it. If we could control it, we could prevent it from ever having it happen again.

Though the guilt is more damaging to us than the reality that we live in a dangerous world, our brain's instinct is to make us feel more in control over it. I have the same feelings, too, back from when I was a five year old. The instinct to feel protected and in control is so much stronger than our self-compassion sometimes.

Something that's helped me is to get a mental image of a 6 year-old that you can remember. And think of yourself like that child - it's much easier to see that a child that isn't yourself isn't capable of being in control of a situation like that. Sometimes we have to trick our brains into realizing the lack of control we had over it all.
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