Dissociation, a topic that has fascinated me as much as it’s frustrated me ever since the first time I ever learned what in the world it even was. For all of the research I've done on this topic, it never ceases to amaze me how the brain takes over during trauma to remove us from being fully present in order to protect us. Of course, long after the trauma has ended, the effects can still linger on.
I can remember sitting in a therapists office years ago, when I first came to terms with the fact that I was a survivor of trauma. She caught me staring out into space, while looking right at her. She noticed when I would tune out during a conversation that was particularly troubling for me to have. Even when the topic wasn’t anything particularly difficult to discuss, the ease with which I transitioned out of being fully present to “never never land” was a clear sign of Dissociation.
Some time ago I reached to guest blogger and friend, Erin Fado, to see if she wouldn’t mind coming on to do a podcast and share her experience of living with dissociation and dissociative identity disorder.
Erin has written extensively on SMP and on her own blog, You Will Bear Witness, about her experiences of being a survivor of trauma and now living with dissociative disorders. She uses her experiences to help validate others and encourage survivors to keep fighting; to never give up on themselves.
Erin joins us from Australia, where she is now medically retired after working as a Professor of Sociology and lecturer at the University of Wollongong in Sidney. She lives with her husband in the countryside, and undergoes extensive EMDR therapy to help with her DID.
Some of the topics that Erin and I discuss on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast:
What is dissociation? Do you usually go to the past, present of future:? How long does it tend to last for? Is it usually triggered by something? How does dissociation impact your everyday life? Have you found treatments/solutions useful?
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Matthew Pappas, CLC BeyondYourPast.com