Two people?

So, it’s Easter weekend and I’m at my FOO’s. You all know how that story goes, so I won’t bang on.

One thing struck me this morning, though: I feel like I am two people. There are all these things I’ve been working on at home, and with the Wonder Therapist, which have completely evaporated now that I’m with my FOO. And I mean COMPLETELY.

It feels weird. It’s like there’s this one “me” who has a sort-of life and who wants some other things in life. That person goes to therapy and tries to work on these things.

But since arriving at my FOO’s I’ve forgotten those things; they’ve all but disappeared.  People, places, things that no longer seem real. Almost like a distant memory of something you’re not quite sure even existed in the first place. But they did exist, because one of these people popped up on my phone… I had to shake my head a little to remind me who it was and what they were doing there.

Is this how things have been all my life, just that I didn’t notice?

Have I always just turned myself “off” around my FOO so that I could play the games that need to be played?

Is this just another part of being a “survivor”?

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5 thoughts on “Two people?

  1. It might be as aspect of surviving, but what I think is happening is that you are beginning to change to the way you have been working toward. I experienced that a year ago – that feeling of not belonging in either world. I hope you make a conscience effort to remember who you want to be and move towards that. You might be experiencing what many people do when they are stressed or pressured: behavior and emotions that are remembered, easy, and familiar. i.e. When at “home”, do what “home” does. Once I realized this is what I was doing, I soon grew more comfortable with who I wanted to be and am now not so affected by who they are or who I used to be when I was with them. Good luck for some fun while you are there.

  2. I wouldn’t be too concerned. I think that a lot of people have more than one “self”. A work self, a home self. An acquaintance self, a friend self, a REAL self. We all have different faces for one reason or another.

  3. I agree with ‘sanity’ – the Jungians call it a ‘persona’ – the masks we put on to play different roles in society. It’s a useful tool to have different masks when needed, as long as we know who the real person is underneath. I get that too when I’m with my mom, I get pulled into what feels like a river current trying to pull me into seeing things her way and responding the way she wants me to. I used to get mad to restore my independent sense of self. When I was first recovering, I avoided her completely to give myself some space to get grounded in who I am. I was seeing her a bit but now, for many of the same reasons I just avoid being around her. Having my partner or someone from my regular life along helped keep me ‘myself’ when I was with her too.

    Hang in there,
    SDW

  4. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m still processing them, because this doesn’t feel like the “personas” thing. I know I have a work face, a friend face, even a best-friend fact, but when I’m wearing any of those faces, i know the others still exist. This is like they don’t exist at all. Strange.

    Perhaps it is that thing of working in therapy to uncover my true “self”, but not being strong enough to maintain it in all situations? I’m not sure. More processing to do, I suspect.

    Take care all.
    Kerro

  5. Hi Kerro,

    It sounds that what you are going through quite effectively blocks out your other life. I don’t think I have gone through it quite as completely as you are describing but yes I have experienced it and at times still get my light switch flipped, as I call it, and become this other person, this person my family insists that I am, even though I am not that person.

    I believe that in time this phenomenon stops because your healing self is strong enough not to switch away. I don’t mean in having personalities or personas, but in a functional/dysfunctional way. Though I do think that it is personas, I do understand how the functional self hiding completely is so disconcerting it is hard to think of it as a persona. I didn’t think of it as a persona either, or see it that way, until I was able to achieve a certain level of functionality in my life and keep it operating even in the face of assoicating with family.

    I also found it easier to retain my sense of self and functionality when I only saw one of them at a time or saw them away from their homes, both circumstances where they feel free to be more dysfunctional and verbally and emotionally abusive. Being with your family of origin away from where you live, where they live and around all of them are all elements that are bound to contribute to a deeper disconnection from your healing path.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

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