Just Me

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

One night I had a dream in which I ‘saw’ a woman struggling through trial after trial. As I watched her struggle I wanted to help her. The dream went on and on. I got more and more frustrated because I could not help the woman in the dream. Toward the end of the dream, I realized with astonishment that the woman I’d been watching the dream video was . . . . me.

I had that dream many years ago. I awoke from it realizing that somewhere along the line I had come disconnected from myself. I started, then, to make a point of kneeling down once a day, as a way to reconnect with myself.

I also immediately upon wakening from that dream started seeking the lord about why it was that I had disconnected from myself. Eventually, I got my answer:

When I was a child, we had a cat, Calico. I really liked that cat. I was a shy child, backward and gawky. I latched onto that cat like she was a lifeline. Every morning, I would get up and go outside to see my cat Calico. One morning I could not find Calico. I yelled for her and looked for her. No cat. I went inside and told mom I could not find Calico, I could not find my cat. She was busy doing something in the kitchen, as I recall, and I remember that she did not turn away from her task as she said to me, ‘We had to give Calico away.’ She went on to remind me that the neighbors had been complaining about our cat.

That, folks, is the moment when I disconnected from myself. I decided, at that juncture in my life, that I did not exist. I figured it this way: If my parents did not see how attached I was to that cat, then I must not exist.

I’m serious. At that moment, the only thing that made sense to me is that I did not exist. That was the only thing I could think of that would explain the circumstances in which I found myself.

So! I disconnected. I was quite young when this happened. I was in my late 30’s or early 40’s when I had the dream in which I realized I was disconnected from myself. That’s a lot of years to think one does not exist. I had spent those years trying to live my life from a distance, not even realizing it was my life.

I am sharing this because I do not believe I am the only person to whom this has happened. Psychology tells us that people disconnect when their emotional pain is so great they can’t bear it anymore, so they distance themselves from the pain, from their lives. But it has been my experience that this does not explain this dissociative thing adequately. No. I think there are others ‘out there’ who, like me, decided at one point that they do not exist.

If you are one of those people, please know this: You do exist. And you are not alone.

Love always,

Susan

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Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment