At what point do we learn?

I think it’s time to admit the glaringly obvious fact that (as a dissociative system), we suffer from a great deal of stupidity!  We can do academic work no problem, sometimes we even enjoy it…  But give us anything that isn’t a concrete concept to think about and we’re all over the place.

So yet again Kriss (yes, the man is still hanging in there), was on the receiving end of our stupidity.  On Friday near the end of the working day we had this immediate need to create a set on Polyvore.  This is unusual for us in that we go to work to do work.  Any time we waste at work we make up for at home later – we got into this habit when we realised how much time we can lose at work. This particular set was very quickly created and called Welcome to the Basement.  It was done almost on auto-pilot, and then forgotten – or so I thought…

This set and what it represents for a young one within the system caused a rather rapid downward spiral.  This coincided with Kriss having a really busy week and a REALLY slow Internet connection.  So we were doing a tailspin, trying desperately to reach out for help – but expecting that help not to be there.  We could have just called Kriss and said “Help” – but that would have been too simple, sensible and totally beyond our current level of functioning/coping.  So instead we did the worst thing possible – open up all the IM clients and hoped that Kriss would contact us.  We would occasionally send a message, but he didn’t respond (remember his slow Internet connection issue).

There was so much backlash about the memory and Kriss not responding, that we decided that he had dumped us – without letting us know.  Yes, we are supposedly in our late 30’s and not teenagers *sigh*.  This conclusion caused a further downward spiral and the rapid creation of another (quite creepy) set titled Come on into the Basement.  This second set was the breakthrough… it eased the pain of the one holding the memory and emotions and meant that the downward spiral just sort of “disappeared”.  It was the weirdest feeling, we went from total chaos to clear thinking in about half an hour.  The others stepped back and I could see what we’d done and the potential fall out of those actions…

By this time, according to us Kriss had dumped us and he was “just like all the other men that hurt us”.  According to Kriss, we were not dumped.  He was however confused about how to help us deal with things like this in the future – and a little stunned about what had happened without even a word from him… lol.  Looking back, it is pretty funny…

Carol (codename for previous therapist we’re going to try and see again Tuesday), once said that when we do this we’re like a wounded cat.  We hiss, spit and claw at everyone around us to tell them to go away and leave us alone so they can’t hurt us.  What we don’t see is that those people are genuinely trying to help us.  They are the people who care about us.  Because they care, and we care about them, it makes the stakes so much higher.  It’s easier to lash out and drive them away than to reach out for help.

Thankfully we snapped out of it all quickly this time and could see what we’d been doing.

We have a basement in our internal house where some of the most violent and angry ones “reside”, I have a feeling that it was this group that have the one who needed to do those sets on Polyvore…  Thankfully they picked that way to release the emotion and tell a part of their experience…  Actually, I’m pretty proud of them for selecting that way!!

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6 Responses to “At what point do we learn?”


  1. 1 annenco February 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Wow do I relate to that happening (my heart is racing actually). I was trying to describe it shortly after the fact in a recent fall out in a similar way, wounded animal. It’s so frustrating when those that can be ‘rational’ about the whole thing get stuck in back and can only watch as the others spin out (and everything comes down). I’m glad you were able to ‘snap out’ of it quickly. I think/hope we have it a little more figured out nowadays that if it did happen again we can ‘snap out’ of it quickly too.
    Haha we set up a Polyvore account a little bit ago but dang it forgot the account info! Sigh. Gonna have to look that up one of these days and check it out some more.

  2. 2 castorgirl February 23, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Hi annenco,

    It was more than a little frustrating when it was all going on. It wasn’t until after the second set had been done that we could really reflect back on what had triggered us and what had stopped the downward spiral. It’s such a contrast between the ones who do the daily functioning to those that hold some of these memories and emotions…

    Sometimes it’s not until after we’ve “Snapped out of it” that we realise we had something to snap out of :) It all gets so mixed up in the spiral.

    Polyvore is quite good fun sometimes :) It can be frustrating if there isn’t the right image to help create the set the way you want it, but overall some of us have found it really helpful. It’s worth a try :)

    Take care
    Sophie :)

  3. 3 davidrochester February 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Well, I think it’s a leap forward that you’re able to recognize what’s going on, and make the effort to explain it to Kriss. Even if you can’t figure it out in the moment, being able to figure it out and do damage control right afterward is the next best thing. You are learning, or you wouldn’t have been able to write this post. :-)

    • 4 castorgirl February 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks David :)
      Sometimes we just see it all as constant pattern of stupidity that we can’t seem to break out of no matter how aware we try to be of the triggers.
      Take care
      Sophie :)

  4. 5 David February 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I have faith in you. I see movement, just from reading your blog, that you don’t see because you’re in it. Your awareness has increased just in the short time I’ve been following your journey. Yes, sometimes you’ll take steps backward, but overall, you’re going in the right direction, and it’s wonderful to witness.


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