Dissociation is a very common coping mechanism for young children who experience trauma. While it protects our minds in that moment, allowing an escape for what is too overwhelming for our little souls to bear, it results in what’s known as fragmentation. I think this concept is widely misunderstood or unknown, so I’ve included a few links I think describe it well.
I have tried to capture the essence of what this experience is like:
I want to tell you what they did,
tell you everything;
so that it never happens again.
But try as I might, the words won’t come.
The terror inside has left me undone.
It’s silence for now,
my mind has gone blank.
It’s transported to safety;
though my body trembled and my heart sank.
I’ll forget for now, though
part of me will always know.
I’ll keep pushing it down,
but the little girl won’t let it go.
She demands to be heard.
Doesn’t anybody care?
What they said, what they did;
my innocence stolen, my soul laid bare.
Lights, camera, action, I do what I’m told.
But obeying is the death of all that is right.
Dissociation is the curse that keeps me quiet,
and the blessing that keeps me shining bright.
No evidence here.
All appears well.
You’ll never know,
because I can’t tell.
I was scared, and confused.
How could I understand?
Their hands were overwhelming;
so my mind went to another land.
Where I’m safe and no one touches me,
I’ll just block this all out.
But inside I’m shattered;
I just want to shout.
Why am I floating?
Who’s that little girl below?
What’s happening to her is unthinkable.
Will anybody stop it? Does anybody know?
They can’t know while I’m up here,
I’m separated from it all.
Here I’m safe from these people,
but from here for help I can never call.
So I guess that leaves the question,
how safe can I really be?
For this momentary escape is nice,
but how many more times will this happen to me?
I was a commodity,
exploited for their gain.
Nothing of value to them;
how long will I live with this pain?
But forgetting is temporary,
at some point, we remember.
Now I can tell you everything;
All it takes is courage and surrender…