"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce


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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; The Art of Detachment


Detachment is a wonderful thing.  It is something I have a knack for.  I can cut myself off from disappointing or difficult situations with relative ease, retreating into a bubble of my own space, where none can touch me.  I suppose it is a kind of self-preservation.

Detachment is something I have done for as long as I can remember.  It is a common defence mechanism, but as a young girl I wasn't really aware of it - I just did it naturally, shutting myself away and retreating into a world of books and imagination.  This means that I developed a habit of withdrawing into my own world and it is a habit that continues to this day.

I can already feel myself detaching from my college course and class mates because we only have three classes left to go. Already I feel the need to separate myself from them and go into the bubble. It's not that I don't engage or interact with people - it's more that I keep interactions quite superficial.  I am polite, but not personal. People rarely get to know the deeper reaches of my personality.  I keep up a barrier between me and them; we can chat and have a laugh, but I've always got one eye on the clock, counting down the hours until the little performance is over.

There are degrees of detachment - the bubble is a way of separating myself from a situation I am not fully engaged with, which bores me or might upset me. Lots of people use this technique to get through divorce or funerals etc.  Isolation is a stronger kind of detachment, where I might cut someone right out of my life altogether, because I don't consider the drama they, or their associates, bring into my life to be worth my time.  This means that if I feel my time is being wasted, or someone has let me down, spilled my secrets or betrayed my trust, I can cut them off with barely a blink and detach from them. What's more, I am unlikely to be as easily drawn in by that person a second time - they will have to work much, much harder to capture my attention. And if betrayal is a factor, they will never have my friendship or trust again.  

My defensive walls are high and thick and made of ice.  I can literally feel myself moving through the process of detachment, because it is so familiar to me now.  It is like a frosty layer, icing over my whole being. Whenever I think of the person who came up short and let me down,  I turn into an ice maiden, retreating behind a wall of ice, untouchable and therefore safe from further harm. 

I support this detachment by eliminating all evidence of that person from my life, so I throw away all gifts, cards and so on.  I might block their phone number so they can't call me; or delete them on social media.  

And of course, I do forget people completely due to PTSD!  This can be both a blessing and curse, because not everyone deserves to be forgotten - but some do.    Eventually I will remember them in flashbacks - itself a traumatic experience - and then I might want to talk to them again, just to validate those memories, but this isn't always possible and so after a time, I have no option but to detach from them all over again.  And after four and half months of solid flashbacks, day after day, with no validation, that's kind of where I'm at right now. 

Because there comes a point when you just have to write people off, for your own peace of mind.  You can't keep flying round in circles, searching for those who are never there for you when you need them. You just have to write them off, for your own sanity. So that's what I do. I write them off - in my journal, on Twitter and Facebook and here on my blog - I just write them off, saddened that they let me down, cross that I was taken in by them in the first place, but ultimately the pilot of my own life, moving on to a new, as yet unknown, horizon.

Detachment is just a natural part of me. It's how I cope with loss; the big losses and the little ones. It's my thing. Let it go.

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