Posted by: Marie | May 13, 2010

(312) Self-chatter marathon

Post #312
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, January 9, 2010 – morning]

Last night, I laid awake well into the night. Normally, I bring the thinking/feeling part of my brain to a halt for the night by turning on the TV – the TV gives me just enough “noise” to focus on that I can ignore the chatter in my head as I’m falling asleep.

But, because I didn’t have to get up early this morning, I thought it would be okay for me to allow the chatter to continue for a while – I was still trying to process everything. I thought I might sleep more soundly if I got some of it figured out before I fell asleep.

On the Date by Martin Chen

However . . . the chatter continued for almost five hours. After that many hours of tossing and turning, I took a dose of ibuprofen to ease the knots in my muscles, and then knocked myself out with a dose of Benadryl . . . that worked. (I’m a light-weight when it comes to meds.)

The good news is that I did get a bunch of stuff figured out in those five hours of tossing and turning.

I recreated the experience I had during the exercise in front of the mirror. I allowed myself to relive body sensations as well as what I had seen and heard – and the emotions I had felt. I was very surprised when I realized how terrified I had been about having to look at myself in the mirror – it had been very triggering for me. However, I hadn’t realized how triggering it had been until I was lying in the dark, trying to fall asleep.

I realized that I had felt like I was underwater – with muted and distorted sensory input – and that keeping my focus on Mark had felt like a narrow breathing tube that provided my only source of air. I was afraid that, if I allowed my focus to fall off of Mark’s reflection, I would slip under the water and sink to the bottom of the swimming pool.

I also realized that I must have been out of my body – I must have been so triggered by believing I had to comply with the mirror exercise that I just went away. I remember steeling myself for what was to come as I stood up out of my chair . . . that is when I must have left.

I know from previous experience that I have perfected the art of appearing totally “with it” when I am out of my body. I can carry on full conversations, I can perform tasks . . . I can even do sex. In fact, I think it is safe to say that I have been out of my body every single time I have done sex. (Mark used the term “doing sex” during our session – it really hits home for me so I’m going to adopt it as my own.)

So, I guess the reason I don’t remember “a lot” of touching is because I was disconnected from my body.

Mark would have had no way of knowing that I was out of my body – except, maybe, for the fact that I wasn’t reactive to touch when it would have made sense for me to be. But, so far, he doesn’t seem to have made that connection.

Maybe, for now, I want it to be that way – I want him to be clueless. I don’t want to call his attention to my discovery – not yet.

First, I’m not sure he would believe me. I am afraid that he will think I’m being overly and unnecessarily dramatic – that I’m just making up symptoms to get attention or sympathy or whatever else someone in my position might want to get through being dramatic.

Then, if I told him, he would become aware of the fact that I am terrified of doing mirror exercises – and he might pressure me into doing them. I don’t feel ready to really look at ME. And, I can’t imagine gazing into my own eyes – I’m afraid I would find my soul there – and I’m afraid to find my soul right now.

It scares me that I apparently didn’t realize I left my body, especially in a scenario where I was making a point of staying in my body, especially in an environment where I feel as safe as I have ever felt in the presence of a man. Maybe I’m damaged way more than I ever imagined.

I’m just not ready to trust him with that much information about what is going on inside of me – I’m afraid he would make me do something I’m not nearly ready to do. I feel really vulnerable about all of this – way too vulnerable. I don’t trust him enough yet to expose that much to him – maybe in time, he be able to show me that his behavior is worthy of my trust. But, for now, there is too much history and too many red flags for me to be able to trust him to that extent.

So, for now, I’m not going to tell him.


  1. It sounds like you did a lot. Sometimes, for me, in these sleepless times there is some tapping into a place we don’t normally have access to.

    It’s terrible to have to feel terrorized and not be able to share it. I’m glad you were able to here, though I do know that you wrote this 4 months ago.

    • Hey, Paul –

      I agree about, during sleepless nights, being able to tap into places I normally can’t. I learn a lot from my dreams, and from the times I’m transitioning between dreaming and being awake.

      I think the deal with Mark is that I was just trying to figure out how to show up in that particular relationship in a healthy way . . . without being stupid or unwise in the process.

      Thanks for your input!

      – Marie

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