Dissociated, Disjointed & Denial

The three D’s of survival.

When I watched my father kill tiny kittens on a rough block of wood, I reached into my tool bag and sorted through my survival skills. Which of the three D’s would I use? Any of them could work.

When I watched the blood seeping out of one of the kitten’s mouths after his skull had been bludgeoned by the back of an axe head, I felt the abundance of fear and pain rip through my body.

I needed to disable the incoherent sequence of what was happening. I’d already seen my father kill before, so to allowed myself to stay disjointed in the event helped me to loosely throw it away.

Denial wouldn’t have worked as well in this situation but I still used its help as I grew and tried to erase that memory from my mind. I wouldn’t have dissociated in those moments because the imminent danger I was in. My father was swinging an axe into the skulls of those tiny creatures and none of us was safe. I had to stay present.

There wasn’t a scene that occurred in my childhood that one of the three D’s couldn’t have helped me through.

Here’s the problem: I carried those tools with me far too long.

Denial corroded my ability to see, staying disjointed kept me confused and dissociation helped me stay stagnate.

When I was a teenager, I invited a few friends over for a short visit. My mother was there. I said something (that I can’t remember) and she didn’t like it. She stood up, walked across the room and slapped me across my face – right in front of my friends. I immediately stood up and ran to the bathroom in tears.

My denial of my mother’s abhorrence for me lead me into other destructive relationships as I grew. My distortion of what love represented could only be corrected by calling out the truth, peeling back the layers of thick denial and exposing my pain.

I didn’t do that fast enough in life and me and my children suffered greatly for that.

I have done myself a favor and no longer live under the rules of the three D’s.

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