2018, Alayna, DID, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Maddie

Writing as a Method of Avoidance

brown bear plush toy
Photo by Dzenina Lukac on Pexels.com — A perfect representation of comfort

Guys, I have a problem. A problem that many of us in this system share. A problem that we were slapped in the face with on Tuesday night at our CR step study.

It turns out that we can write about our feelings, our traumas, our insecurities all day long. It is MUCH harder to actually speak about them out loud to a room full of women in a very vulnerable setting. In a setting where we aren’t educating, we are participating. In a setting where we are not deciding what pieces to exclude. We are answering questions as they happen in the workbook and we have to be completely honest in order for the program to work.

Let me tell you, this is intimidating. Far more intimidating than we ever imagined. And it’s clearly necessary because it touches that place inside that we desperately fight to keep dark and out of the way. It requires us to be uncomfortable and vulnerable.

This past Tuesday we shared honestly and openly. We had to share looking at the ceiling, the floor, or a fixed point on a wall because we couldn’t bring ourselves to make eye contact with anyone. We didn’t want to see the looks on anyone’s faces. We could see, out of the corner of our eye, that some people were reacting with what looks like pity. It’s possible that it is our own insecurities projecting these things, however…

…we don’t have this problem writing. When any of us write here or write in a text we are able to disconnect from the emotions behind the writing. We can just tell the story and walk away. We don’t have to see anyone’s reactions. We don’t have to be aware of our own feelings. We just get the words out.

Yesterday we were texting with a friend about how hard it is to open up. She suggested texting her to let her know we need to talk so she can call. We immediately responded with something along the lines of “Nah, text is fine”. She asked us to work up to a phone call and then we realized that was part of it too. We feel resistance when it comes to talking about the hard stuff, you know unless we are using humor to mask the pain of it or try to make it less important.

Talking is important. Opening up is important. And let me be clear here, this isn’t a DID thing. This is a human thing. A lot of people find themselves unable to really open up. I know it’s easy to claim it’s a DID thing because DID is all about keeping things quiet and inside and dealing with things alone, but to my DID friends let me tell you that this is NOT unique to us. We are not the only ones who experience this. This is very typical human behavior. It’s nice to know that. It’s very nice to know we aren’t alone in dealing with these kinds of reactions.

So while we will always continue to write, we will also be sure to work on talking about it in our step study. We will grow in this discomfort, and we will find someone to process with after the fact, if necessary. Many of us understand that after we share, we need to process it out and sometimes we need more than just each other to do that.



3 thoughts on “Writing as a Method of Avoidance”

  1. We struggle with this as well. Any time the turn comes around to us in the trauma group we clam up and shut down. I suppose it isn’t helpful that we are not out in the trauma group (or anywhere else) and that talking means potentially switching. The group leader may be amazing, but she doesn’t pursue it when she hears we might “lose it” and has figured out what that means. She knows other people in the group will not understand and doesn’t ask us to go there. I suppose that brings with it a degree of shame…
    It’s hard enough in therapy to get stuff out, but to talk of any of it in front of another- or even just in formed words out loud, is devastatingly hard. Like crazy hard. But it needs to be done. And we try as hard as possible with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so hard. Especially if you feel shamed. We are lucky that this group is open and accepting. It’s actually a Christian 12 step program to help heal hurts… the idea is not that we are horrible, but that we don’t deserve to be stuck with that baggage. Still, the fear of rejection and the shame is still so real.


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